Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) continues spreading its wings beyond US borders, and is now the major shareholder in Australia’s PointsBet (OTC:PBTHF).
In a new regulatory filing, the Australian sportsbook operator reveals that Penn’s Penn Interactive Ventures (PIV) unit owns 16.5 million shares, or 6.27 percent of the voting equity. The filing is made with Australian regulators and indicates a dollar value of A$35 million. In US dollars, that’s $25.72 million based on current exchange rates.
Founded in 2015, PointsBet has a market capitalization of $1.84 billion.
PointsBet launched operations in the United States in January 2019, and is now operational in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Indiana, Colorado, and Iowa, with plans to roll-out operations across the United States as access to other state-based sports betting markets open up,” according to the operator.
By the end of 2022, PointsBet is aiming to be operational in at least 19 North American states and provinces. The company is planning to be a player in Canada, too, which recently approved single-game sports betting.
Examining Penn PointsBet Interest
Regulatory filings are usually short on details regarding intent, and that’s the case with the document pertaining to Penn’s stake in PointsBet.
The Pennsylvania-based regional casino operator’s plans for the PointsBet investment aren’t immediately clear. It could merely be a passive investor in the Australian bookmaker. With iGaming and sports wagering soaring in the US, it’s increasingly common for companies to take stakes in operators with exposure to those industries.
Penn isn’t shy about investing in companies based outside the US. Last month, the operator said it’s paying $2 billion in cash and equity to acquire Canada’s Score Media and Gaming (NASDAQ:SCR). However, Penn isn’t yet declaring an intent to purchase PointsBet.
Consolidation in the online casino and sports wagering industries is heating up, and with a market value of less than $2 billion, PointsBet could be an attractive takeover target. But speculation to that effect is limited.
Whether or not an acquisition eventually materializes remains to be seen. But it is clear that Penn is accessing growth with its PointsBet investment.
For the financial year ending June 30, the Aussie company’s revenue jumped nearly 154 percent. But the operator’s US numbers were even more remarkable.
In the world’s fastest-growing sports betting market, PointsBet’s total handle climbed 458.4 percent to $1.79 billion, while gross and net win each increased 481 percent. PointsBet CEO Sam Swanell sees a big opportunity in the US, offering up a combined iGaming and sports wagering forecast for North America that’s well in excess of some of the more bullish estimates.
The company is looking to gain at least 10 percent share in the North American markets in which it operates.
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