For most people, online gambling consists of only online casino sites, but iGaming is one of the largest industries in the world. It is so large that it is expected to reach $92.9 billion by 2023. Like any industry, iGaming is full of affairs: players are hunting for no deposit casino bonus or holiday specials while game providers finalize deals and develop new ideas. So this article will discuss the biggest iGaming deals in 2022 and touch on the important 2021 developments.
What Happened in iGaming in 2021 and 2022?
Playtech started a bidding war. Playtech has stated that it is open to purchase offers in early 2022 and has literally started a bidding war. The first bidder was Australia-based Aristocrat Gaming, but its £6.80 per share offer was not accepted by Playtech shareholders – they demanded 75 cents more. (If accepted, Aristocrat would have paid a total of £2.7bn.) Aristocrat withdrew its offer and left the war but was quickly replaced by Hong Kong-based TTB Partners. There is not much information about TTB Partners, except that it is an investment company, but so far it has been interested in the real estate sector. It is most likely bidding on behalf of multiple companies based in Asia.
Bally could change hands again. Bally is one of the oldest gambling companies based in the USA and has very valuable IPs in its portfolio. Scientific Games bought Bally in 2014 but did not own all the shares. New York-based Standard General L.P. has long owned 22% of Bally’s stock and made a bid in January 2022 to buy all remaining shares. Standard General is also an investment firm and is thought to have made this offer to take full control of Bally IPs.
Flutter Entertainment continues to grow in the European market. Flutter Entertainment is currently one of the biggest names in the gambling industry: it is made up of Paddy Power, Betfair, and The Stars Group. The company has been trying to increase its effectiveness in the European gambling market for a long time and continues to do so by acquiring Italy-based “Sisal”. Flutter paid the £1.62bn purchase price in the last week of 2021 and the legal process is expected to be completed within the first three months of 2022. Founded in 1945, Sisal is one of the oldest gambling operators in Europe.
888 Holding is exiting the online bingo industry. UK-based 888 Holdings Plc is currently one of the largest online bingo providers in the world. It has bingo networks dedicated exclusively to this game, and there is no problem in monetization: 888 earns enough from online bingo. However, it sold all its bingo services to Saphalata Holdings Ltd for $54m in December 2021. Saphalata Holdings is a brand owned by Broadway Gaming Group, which manages 5 different online bingo sites. 888 Holdings explains the reason for this decision as “to focus on its core services”.
William Hill is now owned by 888 Holdings. There’s a reason we’re giving these two stories back-to-back: some analysts think the reason 888 sold the bingo network was the money it paid to buy William Hill. In other words, 888 Holdings spent quite a bit on William Hill and had to sell some of its assets to cover it up – but keep in mind that this is an allegation. As for the deal itself, 888 Holdings bought all of William Hill’s non-US assets for £2.2bn in September 2021. The brand’s US assets are still controlled by Caesars Entertainment, but this deal means 888 Holding is the new owner of William Hill throughout Europe, including over 1,000 betting shops. Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill for £2.9bn in April 2021 and appears to have sold it at a loss.
iSoftBet now offers more games on its platform. Most players know iSoftBet as a developer, but the studio also has a delivery platform. This platform is also open to other studios, so different developers can present their games through iSoftBet. In this context, three more studios joined the iSoftBet platform in the last two months of 2021 and the first month of 2022: B-Gaming, Merkur Spiel, and United Remote. This means that online casinos using the iSoftBet platform can now offer a larger number of games.
IGT has increased its share in the lottery sector. Nevada-based IGT deals not only with casino games but also with lotteries. It is even possible to say that it is one of the biggest names in this sector because IGT organizes lotteries in different parts of the world too. In this context, the company signed two new agreements in the first two months of 2022 and increased its share in the industry. The first of these agreements is for La Lotería Nacional (LOTENAL), the official Mexican lottery. IGT will organize the national lottery in this country until 2024. The other is an agreement signed with Lotto BW (Germany). Toto-Lotto GmbH Baden-Württemberg (Lotto BW), one of the largest instant lottery operators in Germany, now receives all its services from IGT.