MGM Makes Offer To Acquire LeoVegas Ahead Of New Jersey Launch

Written By Derek Helling on May 2, 2022
Popular European Brand Could Expand MGM LeoVegas Acuisition

While New Jerseyans await the North American debut of the LeoVegas online casino, an MGM LeoVegas acquisition offer might have some implications for the brand’s forthcoming launch. Just what those implications might entail remains murky for now, though.

Currently, MGM only has an offer on the table. Should the transaction occur, the forthcoming New Jersey iGaming platform would be part of MGM’s portfolio instead of yet another European operator expanding into the United States. That could affect players across the US.

MGM LeoVegas acquisition offer surfaces

On Monday, MGM announced its overture. The press release said MGM Resorts is offering around $607 million US for 100% of the company’s shares. MGM says the acceptance period for its offer commences in June and runs through August. It eyes September for settlement of the deal.

Why offer over half a billion dollars for LeoVegas? That could mostly have to deal with its status across the Atlantic Ocean. LeoVegas is one of the top iGaming platforms in Scandinavia the United Kingdom. The release states that the company generated EUR 393 million (about $413 million US) in revenue during the previous 12 months through March of this year.

While it’s unclear right now what a sale would mean for LeoVegas’ interest in the US, a path for LeoVegas’ online casino introduction into the country currently exists. MGM could use LeoVegas technology to augment its own as well.

Implications for iGaming in the US?

LeoVegas announced plans for its first North American market in August of last year. It had partnered with Caesars in Atlantic City and received approval from the New Jersey Divison of Gaming Enforcement.

The intent was to launch a LeoVegas-branded online casino using that Caesars license in that state sometime during the first half of this year. That deal happened months prior to MGM making this acquisition offer, though.

So far, there is no announced change to that plan. This potential transaction could affect at least the timing of LeoVegas’ New Jersey launch, however.

LeoVegas might not want to open up a new market while it is negotiating all the tenets of such a deal. Additionally, it’s uncertain how a takeover by a competitor would affect the contract with Caesars.

Contracting with competitors for iGaming in New Jersey isn’t unheard of. For example, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City shares its online casino license with Rush Street Gaming-owned SugarHouse Casino.

MGM might prefer to offer LeoVegas under the license of its Borgata Atlantic City property, though. This transaction could also muddle the issue of to what extent MGM might want to push LeoVegas into other states with iGaming as well.

LeoVegas’ introduction and expansion into the US could happen in another, more subtle way, too.

LeoVegas tech could augment MGM’s online gambling platforms

One such tenet of the deal could be LeoVegas’ proprietary RHINO technical platform. That could become the “engine” behind MGM’s existing US digital gaming products like BetMGM Casino and BetMGM Poker.

BetMGM currently offers iGaming in several US markets with not only those brands but also Borgata Casino and Borgata Poker. RHINO is capable of managing all those products and BetMGM’s online sportsbook. It currently powers over 60 European iGaming channels.

The chance to acquire RHINO is likely part of why MGM is so interested. iGaming fans across the US could find out whether this transaction will close and for how much as soon as next month. At that point, more information about how soon LeoVegas will be available in New Jersey could surface as well.

Photo by David Esser / Shutterstock.com
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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