iGaming companies have been sold for more than £100 billion

Mergers and Acquisitions

Bojoko.com, a UK-focused partner site, has created a new database designed to track all iGaming acquisitions and mergers worldwide.

The database shows that over £100 billion was spent buying and selling iGaming companies and that 2023 set a new record for retail sales of 77.

To understand how these decisions have impacted the industry, we will examine the key events since the initial acquisition in 2001. By examining the industry’s growth, marked by more than 300 sales in the 2020s, we shed light on the significant changes that have shaped the iGaming industry.

iGaming acquisitions over the years

The iGaming industry has gone through hundreds of mergers and acquisitions since the first sale was agreed in 2001, when SportingBet acquired Sportsbook.com for £30 million. The initial transactions were small in size, but as the potential of the industry became clearer, the size and frequency of these transactions increased dramatically.

In the mid-2010s, the industry experienced a significant increase in activity, with 2014 being a pivotal year. Scientific Games’ £3.9bn acquisition of Bally Technologies set a new benchmark for the industry and highlights the increasing willingness of major iGaming companies to consolidate. This period also saw a trend in which acquisition values ​​skyrocketed, indicating how strategically important these moves became in maintaining market dominance and diversifying supply.

This upward trend continued in the following years, with Brookfield Business Partners’ $5.8 billion acquisition of Scientific Games occurring in 2022. This deal demonstrated the value that investors outside of the traditional gaming industry place on iGaming companies and the industry’s strong financial position.

The impact of the pandemic: post-lockdown growth

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges across various sectors, and the iGaming industry was no exception. The sector has had to quickly adapt to a new reality due to global lockdowns and a sudden shift in consumer behavior. This adjustment period was crucial for the iGaming industry as it navigated the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.

Despite these challenges, the industry showed signs of recovery and resilience in 2021. The iGaming sector recorded a record 53 sales in 2021, almost doubling the previous 28 compared to 2018, despite the economic difficulties brought by the pandemic. This surge in activity was not only a recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic, but also reflected the industry’s fundamental strength and ability to adapt and grow under difficult circumstances.

One of the most notable transactions during this recovery period was Aristocrat’s acquisition of Playtech for £2.7 billion. This deal highlights not only the financial robustness of the iGaming sector, but also its readiness for future growth and expansion.

The new era in iGaming

The unprecedented impact of the global pandemic, coupled with years of rapid growth, has shaped the iGaming industry, which now finds itself at a critical crossroads as 2024 approaches.

The industry has clearly matured as the previously frantic pace of acquisitions has given way to a more calculated approach. This development is more than a reaction to the past; It is a forward-looking approach for a future characterized by digital innovation and strategic foresight.

iGaming companies are no longer just looking for the next big deal; They carefully consider opportunities that align with their long-term vision and the changing preferences of their audience.

The strategic shift in the iGaming landscape also reflects broader changes in the digital world. Blockchain-based gaming platforms and virtual reality casinos are just two of the new areas iGaming companies are exploring as technology advances rapidly. These innovations are not just about staying ahead of the competition; It’s about redefining the iGaming experience for gamers around the world.

In this context, Bojoko’s constantly updated overview of iGaming acquisitions proves invaluable. It provides insights into the impact of these strategic shifts and technological advances in real time. As the industry continues to evolve, this research will be critical in shedding light on the impact of upcoming acquisitions.

The regulatory landscape

With these technological advances come new regulatory challenges. Regulators are responsible for maintaining and enforcing rules that keep players safe without stifling innovation, even as iGaming platforms explore the potential of blockchain, VR and AI. The future of iGaming will be largely influenced by the relationship between technological advancement and regulatory compliance.

Summary

The journey of the iGaming industry from its beginnings to the powerhouse it is today shows how resilient and adaptable the scene is. In the early 2000s, the average number of annual sales was around 5, a number that increased dramatically to up to 77 sales in 2023 alone. This exponential growth underlines the dynamism of the sector and its readiness to embrace the future.

Looking ahead, the industry is on the verge of a technological revolution that promises to further transform the gaming experience. The potential for mergers and acquisitions in sectors like AI suggests exciting but unimaginable advances on the horizon.

The key to the industry’s continued success and growth will lie in its ability to leverage these innovations while navigating the complexities presented by regulators. Aiming to provide more personalized, safer and more engaging gaming experiences, iGaming platforms not only meet the changing needs of online customers but also set new standards for the entire entertainment sector.

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