Boyd Closes $170M Purchase Of Pala Interactive

Written By Steve Friess on November 1, 2022 - Last Updated on November 2, 2022
pennsylvania stardust boyd gaming online casino

Boyd Interactive Gaming Inc., completed its $170 million acquisition of Pala Interactive LLC on Tuesday, a significant step toward expanding parent Boyd Gaming‘s online casino footprint around the United States.

With this all-cash purchase, Boyd acquires the 9-year-old startup’s proprietary technology including a player account management system that provides a cashiering platform and a “unified back office.”

Boyd Gaming invests further in online casino products

Pala Interactive hosts and manages online casino apps in several markets around the U.S. and Canada as a B2B (business-to-business) solution for other license holders. In addition, they own and operate the Stardust Casino apps in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in partnership with FanDuel.

Boyd will take over those operations in the coming months, according to a Boyd spokesman.  The company believes the Pala staff and technology provide an opportunity for Boyd to eventually launch online gambling apps in the other eight states where the company already owns brick-and-mortar casinos.

Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming, spoke on the completion of the transaction.

“Online casino gaming is an attractive growth opportunity for our Company, and the acquisition of Pala Interactive provides us with the technology, products and expertise to create a profitable regional online casino business,” Smith stated. “We look forward to working with the Pala Interactive team in executing our online casino gaming strategy, which will complement our existing land-based operations and further expand our nationwide customer base.”

Pala Interactive was launched in 2013 by the Pala Band of Mission Indians. With the sale now complete, Boyd has an interest in gambling expansion in several markets.

Boyd awaiting legislative action in several states

While Boyd does operate the Valley Forge Casino in Pennsylvania and multiple properties in Nevada, many of its properties are in states where online casino play for real money is currently illegal. Examples include Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Ohio.

Those states are in very different places when it comes to their possible proximity to legalizing online casino play. Indiana is among the next most likely states to do so in 2023, for example. At the same time, all forms of online gambling remain illegal in Missouri right now.

Should the situations change in those states and others where Boyd currently operates, Boyd will have an online casino product ready to launch. That state of preparedness is mostly due to the acquisition of Pala Interactive.

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Steve Friess

Steve Friess is the national gambling industry correspondent for PlayUSA and its related local sites. He is also a contributing writer for Newsweek. A Long Island native who earned a journalism degree at Northwestern University, Friess worked at newspapers in Rockford, Illinois, Las Vegas, and South Florida before launching a freelance career in Beijing, China, where he served as chief China correspondent for USA Today. After his return to the U.S. in 2003, he settled in Las Vegas, where he covered the gambling industry and the American Southwest regularly for The New York Times, Playboy, The New Republic, Time, Portfolio, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, New York magazine, and many others. During that time, he created and co-hosted two successful and groundbreaking podcasts, the celebrity-interview show The Strip and the animal affairs program The Petcast. In 2011-12, Friess was a Knight-Wallace Fellow for at the University of Michigan. That was followed by a stint as a senior writer covering the intersection of technology and politics at Politico in Washington, D.C., In 2013, he returned permanently to Ann Arbor, where he now lives with his husband, son, daughter and three Pomeranians. He tweets at @SteveFriess and can be reached at [email protected]

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