Gaming | Wynn to take online-betting business public in SPAC merger

Wynn Resorts Ltd. is taking its nascent online-betting business public by merging it with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the latest in a line of such casino-industry deals.
The Las Vegas-based gambling giant said yesterday [Macau time] it will merge its online operations with Austerlitz Acquisition Corp. I, a blank-check company created by title-insurance magnate William P. Foley II. Wynn will retain 58% of the business, which as a whole will be valued at $3.2 billion.
The deal with Austerlitz brings about $640 million in cash to the venture. Foley’s Cannae Holdings Inc. may also invest.
The new entity will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the name Wynn Interactive Ltd., with trading symbol WBET.
Wynn Resorts shares gained as much as 3.1% to $129.67 in after-hours trading. They were up 11% this year through the close Monday in New York.
“We are confident that this transaction will unlock the tremendous potential of Wynn Interactive to further accelerate growth and enable the business to capture the massive opportunity in North America,” Chief Executive Officer Matt Maddox said in a statement. Maddox will remain chairman of Wynn Interactive after the transaction.
Wynn Interactive currently operates in six states and has access to 15. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.
The company projected online revenue of $708 million in 2023, based on a 5% to 7% share of the U.S. market. Its current annual run rate is about $100 million, executives said on a conference call for investors. The new entity will also take over the sports books at the Wynn properties in Las Vegas.
Foley, the chairman of Fidelity National Financial Inc., is also an owner of the Golden Knights pro hockey team in Las Vegas.
The Wynn deal follows other gaming companies that have gone public through a SPAC, including DraftKings Inc., Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. and Rush Street Interactive Inc.
Separately, the company reported first-quarter revenue that was less than analysts expected and a loss its core casino business that exceeded Wall Street expectations. MDT/Bloomberg

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