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Light & Wonder Completes Acquisition Of Social Online Gaming Firm SciPlay

Written By J.R. Duren on October 25, 2023
Online Game Characters On SciPlay's Website with SciPlay and Light & Wonder logos

Digital gaming firm Light & Wonder has completed its acquisition of social online gaming firm and business partner SciPlay.

The Las Vegas-based company first announced the acquisition in August, noting that it would buy out SciPlay’s remaining 17% equity interest at $22.95 a share.

Buying out the remaining shares of SciPlay will help streamline operations and boost its financial strength. In a Light & Wonder news release, CEO Matt Wilson said:

“SciPlay continues to achieve record-setting results and market outperformance, and we are confident that together we will build on their considerable momentum.

As one company, we will drive improved collaboration between our talented teams to build and deploy the most engaging games across our digital and land-based platforms and create a more seamless, best-in-class player experience.”

As a result of the acquisition, SciPlay shares will no longer be traded on Nasdaq.

Both companies headed into acquisition with solid growth

When Light & Wonder announced in August it planned to buy the remaining shares of SciPlay, both companies were in solid financial shape. Light & Wonder’s gaming revenue was up 20% year-on-year, and online gambling revenue was up 17% over the previous year.

SciPlay reported record revenue in its Q2 results, noting the $190 million it brought it was up nearly 20% year-on-year.

Additionally, after the acquisition announcement, SciPlay’s share prices jumped from the $19 range to nearly $23.

CEO says SciPlay acquisition fits in with Light & Wonder’s streamlining strategy

When CEO Matt Wilson took over Light & Wonder in 2022, he wanted to pare away the company’s sports betting and lottery assets and focus on gaming content.

In an interview with Fantini Research at this year’s Global Gaming Expo, Wilson said his strategy was met with some skepticism from shareholders.

“The resounding feedback I got from investors was, ‘That’s a nice story’,” Wilson said. “I think what we’ve proven over the last four quarters…is that it’s more than just a story. We’re actually executing on that in a really material way.”

SciPlay was under Light & Wonder’s umbrella in the late 2010s. But, because of debt and other factors, Light & Wonder liquidated most of its ownership in the company to raise money.

With SciPlay back in the fold, Wilson sees it as a great platform for business-to-consumer game testing, among other things.

“A big thing is bringing them back in-house and really unlocking all the positive things that come with having a B2C business in the portfolio,” Wilson told Fantini, “things we can do around game testing, A/B testing, social surveys.”

Photo by SciPlay; illustrated by PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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