CVC Capital Partners, the largest private equity firm in Europe, has recently given their vote of confidence on behalf of the online gambling industry. The private equity investors agreed to purchase a hefty controlling stake in the online gambling company, SkyBet. In fact, it was the largest purchase made by private investors in the quickly changing industry that is iGaming. At a sizable $1.25 Billion, this purchase secured for CVC Capital Partners is roughly 80% of SkyBet.
Seeded by the UK’s Sky Satellite Broadband Company (much beloved for their SKySports sector), SkyBet initially made it’s mark via online sports betting, and has since established itself in the realms of online poker and other online casino games. Having such a robust and respected private equity firm place it’s bet in favor of the company says a great deal about the shift that is taking place in general perception concerning the online gambling industry’s ability to be a thriving, dependable economic powerhouse.
This shift can be observed in multiple similar investments and partnerships that have begun to dot trade publications in recent years. For instance, when software conglomerate, Amaya, made their $4.9 billion buyout of the popular PokerStars, the credit division of the world’s largest private equity firm, Blackstone Group, backed the deal with a $1 billion credit line. This groundbreaking change in how mainstream business regards online gambling put banking heavyweights like Deutsche Bank and Barclays in the position of holding assets rooted in the online gambling industry. Not surprisingly, Amaya’s shares have enjoyed a swift upswing since.
What is of main interest here is the somewhat less hearty investment being made by private equity into the online division of the land-based casino giant, Caesars Entertainment. It has yet to be confirmed if this is a reflection on the current struggle Caesars’ finds itself in, or if it is a preference for the specialization that companies solely focused on online gambling offer. For example, which company would likely woo more investment at this point? Twitter, or a new Short form social media product created by Microsoft?
Well, it probably wouldn’t be going out on a limb to say that Twitter would win due to its advantage of having established the first product of this nature (nor ro mention the fact that all of the company’s assets are focused in that single area). This preference differs a great deal from the original predictions that land-based casinos would overwhelm the online market and take over with brand power.
Could land-based casinos go by the way of Blockbuster vs Netflix ? Luckily, given that Caesars is already working to get ahead of the curve, they are more likely to ensure their survival in a digital future. Other land-based companies do not seem to be quite as prepared. One way or another, a simple prediction to make is that as the world’s money holders become invested in the success of online gambling, the governmental resistance to the legalization of it will surely wither.