Partypoker could become part of DraftKings if the poker site’s parent company accepts a rumored $20 billion offer. Entain is one of the largest online gaming groups in the world and also owns the popular poker site.
DraftKings has reportedly offered $20 billion for the based in the United Kingdom-based company, according to CNBC. The possible deal came to light on Tuesday after Entain filed a report on the offer with the London Stock Exchange.
Details on the DraftKings-Entain offer
The move would create a massive sport betting, online gaming, online poker, and fantasy sports empire. DraftKings is a leader in the US sports betting and daily fantasy sports markets. The company also offers online casino gaming in some markets as well.
Along with owning partypoker, Entain also includes bwin, Ladbrokes, Coral, and numerous other online gaming brands. Partypoker remains one of the largest online poker operations in the world.
The poker brand regularly ranks among the top 10 sites in the PokerScout worldwide online traffic report.
In the US, the company also has a partnership with MGM Resorts for the partypoker US Network. That includes the Borgata and BetMGM poker skins as well as the PartyCasino brand. The partnership also includes a growing sports betting presence in several US states as well.
Party also partners with the World Poker Tour to offer live and online events both internationally and in the US. CNBC notes that a possible deal would need the approval of MGM because of the US partnership.
“Any transaction whereby Entain or its affiliates would own a competing business in the US would require MGM’s consent,” the company said in a statement per the network. “MGM will engage with Entain and DraftKings, as appropriate, to find a solution to the exclusivity arrangements which meets all parties’ objectives.”
What to watch
The deal makes for some interesting dynamics. MGM made its own $11 billion offer for Entain earlier this year. That was to be an all-stock arrangement, but Entain rejected the bid.
DraftKings has offered a mix of cash and stock for the company. If the deal goes forward, DraftKings becomes one of the biggest online gaming companies in the world.
However, there are some details to work out – namely with MGM. In the US, DraftKings and BetMGM are competitors in the sports betting and online gaming spaces.
MGM is a leader in online casino in the US. The deal would in essence have DraftKings owning half of a chief rival. The company could possibly sell all of its interest in the US venture to MGM, which has shown interest in acquiring full ownership.
In that scenario, poker players would find the US version of partypoker/MGM/Borgata completely separate from the international brand.
However, all these scenarios simply remain speculation at this point. The $20 billion may not be the exact figure as well. Some in the industry believe that figure overvalues Entain.
Partypoker history and possibilities
Party was launched in 2001 with poker legend Mike Sexton as one of the co-founders. The company grew quickly during the poker boom. GVC Holdings (now known as Entain) purchased the company in 2016 for $1.1 billion.
The international platform is now available in numerous countries. Party/GVC even owned the WPT from 2009-15 before selling the brand for $35 million.
Party has seen large fields across all its platforms since the Coronavirus pandemic. Online poker saw a massive surge over the last two years and party benefited from that as well.
The industry has attracted player pools not seen since the poker boom of the 2000s. However, it seems unlikely the brand is a key target for DraftKings. Sports betting and online casino betting opportunities seem the more likely focus.
A deal would allow DraftKings to grow that aspect of the business in the United States and beyond. However, adding a poker brand could benefit both companies.
Party could become part of a platform with millions of gamblers. DraftKings also gains access to poker players who may also be interested in sports betting and other gaming.
Plenty remains to be seen about a possible deal.PokerScout will continue to follow the story.