Late Drama as DraftKings Make $195 Million Offer to Purchase PointsBet’s Shares

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
22/06/2023/
News
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Highlights

  • In May 2023, Fanatics Betting and Gaming completed a deal in principle with PointsBet to acquire the latter’s US operations.
  • However, a shocking last-minute ditch saw DraftKings propose a $195 million agreement to buy-out PointsBet.
  • If DraftKings acquires PointsBet, it would now hold 21.5% of the total online gambling market in Michigan.

DraftKings is set to extend its market share of the Michigan online gambling industry to a whopping 21.5% after it made last-minute efforts to acquire PointsBet. Less than a month ago, we reported that an agreement was reached between PointsBet and Fanatics Betting and Gaming.

This deal came after talks were advanced between both parties to acquire the entire US operations of PointsBet for $150 million. However, more recent reports suggest that DraftKings may well be favorites to take over PointsBet’s US assets after it bid $195 million. All the details of the acquisition are shared in detail below.

DraftKings Plans to Acquire PointsBet for $195 Million, 30% More Than Fanatics Deal Amount

Despite being on the brink of relinquishing its assets to Fanatics in a $150 million sale just last month, there’s been a dramatic turn in the PointsBet acquisition debacle. DraftKings is not only placing a bid for the purchase of PointsBet shares, but it is also offering 30% more (45 million) than Fanatics for the acquisition.

As of Monday, June 19, PointsBet announced that it had received an offer totaling $195 million from the online gambling giant and was open to exploring it. The plan with the Fanatics was that it would be voted upon by the PointsBet shareholders come June 30.

However, pending the vote, PointsBet Casino is looking to explore other options, especially when the bids are of higher value. According to a press release from PointsBet, DraftKings made a cash and debt free offer to them with no financing condition, more promising than other bids received. 

The statement, in part, reads thus:

“Acting in good faith, (PointsBet) have determined (after consultation with the Company’s financial and legal advisers) that the DraftKings Proposal could reasonably be expected to lead to a Superior Proposal (as that term is summarised in the Company’s ASX release dated 26 May 2023), and, to this end, PointsBet (with the assistance of its financial and legal advisers), will now engage with DraftKings on the DraftKings Proposal.”

Nevertheless, it’s worth stating that the statement does not amount to a tacit approval from PointsBet, at least not yet.

Successful Acquisition Could See DraftKings Own Three Gambling Operators in Michigan

The implications of a DraftKings acquisition of PointsBet Casino is massive, especially for the Michigan market. First off, DraftKings Casino MI currently holds 20.9% of the total market share in the Wolverine State. Prior to 2022, DraftKings only controlled the operations of DK online casino, sportsbook, horse race betting and fantasy gaming. However, by May last year, it completed a purchase of Golden Nugget’s operations.

As it stands, DraftKings controls the sites for its own platform and those of Golden Nugget, while providing promotions across the board for both brands. Golden Nugget has since also integrated DraftKings proprietary gaming technology to deliver a similar gaming experience to its clients.

Should DraftKings successfully acquire PointsBet’s assets in the US, it would now have control over three of the 15 licensed operators in Michigan. In terms of lifetime market share, it would hold approximately 21.5% of the total online casino revenue in the Great Lakes State. Similarly, it would hold about 29.2% of the lifetime market share of sports betting handle in the state.

Here’s a breakdown of the market share between the three brands.

Online Casino Market share (%)Online Sports Betting Market Share (%)
DraftKings$572.6 million (16.4%)$2.57 billion (25.6%)
Golden Nugget$157.5 million (4.5%)$29.1 million (0.3%)
PointsBet$22.9 million (0.6%)$327.4 million (3.3%)

With this strength, only BetMGM Casino MI and FanDuel may be able to rival the market share of DraftKings.

Fanatics Hope of Takeover Hangs in the Balance but Not Totally Over

Until the deal is signed by both parties, approved by their investors, and officially announced to the public, there cannot be a definite call yet. So, questions surrounding the new position of Fanatics in light of a new bid from DraftKings may not get a definite answer anytime soon.

However, there is every indication that PointsBet still wants its board to recommend that shareholders vote on the deal with Fanatics. Besides, PointsBet has given DraftKings a June 27 ultimatum to provide a definite offer as this will enable it to weigh options against shareholders’ votes. The casino company also noted that it was holding DraftKings to a “hell or high water” standard.

In light of the anticipated heightened scrutiny of an acquisition of PointsBet by DraftKings, as compared to the FBG Transaction, please provide written confirmation that DraftKings will assume the risk of delay and/or denial of antitrust approvals, as we intend to hold DraftKings to a “hell or high water” standard with respect to antitrust clearances.

From all indications, it is expected that the eventual outcome of this acquisition bid will be made clear by the end of June.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments