In a deal that signals a shift in strategy for Scientific Games, the company has sold OpenBet to Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. for $1.2 billion.
OpenBet is one of the leading B2B technology companies in the gaming industry, but in a release announcing the sale, Scientific Games revealed a desire to focus on content. Unshackled from OpenBet, Scientific Games will be able to develop gaming content and products that can be deployed across many platforms. As more states and jurisdictions launch legal sports and casino betting, this strategy could prove to be wise.
Scientific Games will receive $1 billion in cash and $200 million in Class A common stock from Endeavor. The sale will be finalized in the second quarter of 2022.
The acquisition bolsters Endeavor’s standing as a figure in the gaming industry, bringing the successful OpenBet platform into their quite of holdings. Originally a talent agency based in Beverly Hills, Endeavor has grown to include ownership of the former William Morris Agency, as well as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Miss Universe pageant. Endeavor trades publicly on the New York Stock Exchange as EDR. Hours after the deal was announced Endeavor’s stock rose 14%.
What Are Endeavor’s Plans Now That They’re In the Gaming Industry?
The purchase of OpenBet by Endeavor ushers the entertainment company into the gaming industry. But what does Endeavor plan to do with their new asset?
One strategy may be the expansion of gaming and licensing with professional sports leagues and the IMG Arena. William Morris Endeavor purchased IMG in 2013, and the IMG Arena division was launched soon after. According to Endeavor, IMG Arena provides “always-on services including 24/7 live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products designed to evolve and inspire engagement by placing fans at the heart of the action.”
Through IMG Arena, Endeavor has relationships with a client list that includes clients include the PGA Tour, the Ryder Cup, Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), USTA, Wimbledon, Major League Soccer, and The Football Association. With OpenBet now in tow, and with their ownership of UFC, Endeavor can offer a wide array of content and productions in the gaming and sports industry.