US Online Casino Leader BetMGM’s Parent, MGM, Buys Into International Markets

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US online casino dominance isn’t enough for BetMGM‘s parent company, MGM Resorts International. Las Vegas-based MGM wants to go into international online casino markets. It looks like that will happen by next week, now that Stockholm-headquartered LeoVegas Group‘s shareholders have approved the $604 million acquisition offer.

BetMGM, jointly owned by MGM and Isle of Man-based Entain, competes with LeoVegas Group iGaming brands LeoVegas and Royal Panda in Ontario.

However, beyond Canada and Carnival Corporation ships, Jersey City, NJ-based BetMGM is active on American soil. The US online casino brand holds the plurality of the American market share, or 29% in May.

Now, MGM will be able to extend its global online gambling reach beginning on Sept. 7. That’s when MGM’s Stockholm-based “indirect subsidiary” MGM Casino Next Lion (MGM CNL) will begin settling LeoVegas shares.

The 4% of LeoVegas shareholders who haven’t yet accepted the offer have until Sept. 14 to “tender their shares to MGM.”

MGM stock declined 1% today.

UPDATE: 09/16/2022

MGM stock rose nearly 3% yesterday after the company announced it controls more than 98% of LeoVegas shares, but dipped nearly 4% today.

MGM’s announcement emphasizes that this is the last negotiation period with LeoVegas shareholders:

MGM has initiated a compulsory acquisition procedure in accordance with the Swedish Companies Act to acquire all shares not tendered in the Offer. LeoVegas’ application for delisting of the shares from Nasdaq Stockholm was approved on 8 September 2022. The last day of trading in LeoVegas’ shares at Nasdaq Stockholm will be 22 September 2022.

Shareholders Approve Buying LeoVegas for $604M

When Wall Street learned in May about MGM’s plan to buy LeoVegas, the total purchase price was expected to be $607 million.

Today, analysts learned the acquisition offer came in $3 million lower, at $604 million. 

The reason for the slight price drop is unclear, but LeoVegas has had controversies since May.

The most notable one is the June 7 launch of a preliminary investigation into alleged insider trading by LeoVegas officials. LeoVegas announced it’s cooperating with the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (SECA). 

MGM, LeoVegas CEOs Comment on the Acquisition

US online casino isn’t a LeoVegas specialty, but international iGaming is, MGM and LeoVegas agree.

To that end, LeoVegas put off a US online casino launch because of the pending acquisition. Now, plans for a New Jersey LeoVegas debut may proceed.

In the meantime, leaders from both companies are celebrating.

MGM CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle says in today’s announcement:

The completion of this transaction represents a major milestone for MGM Resorts as we continue to pursue our strategy of growing our online gaming footprint worldwide.

LeoVegas Group CEO Gustaf Hagman states:

Joining forces with MGM Resorts is a major win for LeoVegas and we’re excited to begin working with our new teammates to build upon the work we’ve done over the last 10 years.

Since its founding in 2011, LeoVegas grew its online gambling presence into “nine jurisdictions, primarily in the Nordics and rest of Europe.”

The MGM announcement says the company plans to add more jurisdictions to that LeoVegas portfolio.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is the lead writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Fletcher's newspaper career started at Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. She covers breaking news from Philadelphia, as needed. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report.

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