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PokerStars Owner Amaya $AYA in $6B Merger Talks With William Hill $WMH

PokerStars Owner Amaya $AYA in $6B Merger Talks With William Hill $WMH

Amaya Inc. (NASDAQ: AYA; TSX: AYA) and London-based William Hill plc (LSE: WMH), said “they are in discussions regarding a potential all share merger of equals,” that would would create “a clear international leader across online sports betting, poker and casino.” Amaya, the world’s biggest publicly listed online gambling company and owner of PokerStars, the world’s largest real-money online poker network, had retained Barclays Bank as its financial adviser to explore a sale, as reported by ExitHub earlier this year. Founded in 1934, William Hill is one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies, employing more than 16,000 people in nine countries, including the UK, Gibraltar, Israel, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, the US, Australia and the Philippines. In addition to its online sportsbook operations, the company offers online casino games, ‘skill games’, online bingo and online poker. Citigroup Global Markets and Macquarie Capital are acting as financial advisers to William Hill, which in recent months has been evaluating options to accelerate its strategy of increasing diversification by growing its digital and international businesses. In August, the British bookmaker rejected a takeover bid from its rivals 888 Holdings and Rank Group. GSO Capital Partners, the credit arm of private equity firm Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), holds a stake of 19.99% in Amaya. GSO was a major financial backer of Amaya’s $4.9-billion buyout of Oldford Group Ltd and its Isle of Man-headquartered Rational Group Ltd, the owner and operator of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, in August 2014. Several parties, including sports betting and gaming company GVC Holdings, as well as David Baazov, considered the “king of online gambling” who resigned under pressure as chairman and CEO of Amaya, were interested in acquiring the company. In late March, Amaya said that its founder Baazov was taking a voluntary leave “to focus on preparing an offer to acquire Amaya and to avoid a distraction for the company while he responds to certain allegations made against him by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the securities regulatory authority in Quebec.” In August, he permanently resigned all positions at Amaya. “Amaya remains focused,” said the company’s recently appointed CEO Rafi Ashkenazi. “We attracted new customers to PokerStars, continued to introduce changes to improve the overall poker experience, expanded our online casino offering and continued to invest in our emerging online sportsbook.” Amaya is a leading provider of technology-based products and services in the global gaming and interactive entertainment industries. Amaya owns gaming and related consumer businesses and brands including PokerStars, Full Tilt, BetStars, StarsDraft, the European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. Its brands have more than 100 million cumulative registered customers globally and collectively form the largest poker business in the world, comprising online poker games and tournaments, live poker competitions, branded poker rooms in popular casinos in major cities around the world, and poker programming created for television and online audiences. Amaya also offers non-poker gaming products, including casino, sportsbook and daily fantasy sports. Amaya and its group companies have various gaming and gaming-related licenses or approvals throughout the world, including from the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Romania, the Isle of Man, Malta, the State of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario in Canada, and the State of New Jersey in the United States. The company was founded in 2004 and it has nearly 2,000 employees. ONLINE GAMBLING AND GAMING M&A ACTIVITY A few  days ago, Philippine billionaire Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin, the former chairman and controlling shareholder of PhilWeb Corp. (PSE: WEB), a leading gaming technology provider in the Asia Pacific region, sold his 53.76 percent stake in the company to Gregorio Maria “Greggy” Araneta III, the son-in-law of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. Ongpin himself was a former Minister of Trade and Industry during the Marcos administration in the 1970s. The move came after the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office on June 30 after running on a platform to clean up the country, specifically named Ongpin in a speech in early August, as one of the “oligarchs that are embedded in the government” who he literally said he plans to “destroy.” The recent wave of M&A is likely to continue as operators look to become bigger and more diversified to offset rising costs and compete more effectively. In late May, private equity firm CVC Capital Partners acquired Italian gaming and payments operator Sisal Group SpA from private equity firms Apax Partners, Permira and Clessidra for €1 billion. In April, Las Vegas-based NYX Gaming Group Limited (TSX-V: NYX) agreed to acquire OpenBet (OB Topco Ltd), the #1 regulated digital gaming supplier globally, from private equity firm Vitruvian Partners LLP, its co-investors and management, for £270 million. As part of the deal, William Hill and SkyBet, owned by CVC Capital and Sky plc, were said to have invested £80 million and £20 million, respectively. Earlier this year, CVC Capital acquired a majority stake in German gaming company Tipico for close to €1.5 billion ($1.68 billion). In December 2014, CVC acquired Sky Betting and Gaming for £800 million, consisting of five core brands Sky Bet (sports betting), Sky Vegas (online in-browser casino), Sky Casino (premium online casino, live table games), Sky Poker (online poker) and Sky Bingo (online bingo). CVC also made previous investments in William Hill (2002 IPO exit, at 314% ROI) and the IG Group, a digital trading and betting platform. “Sports betting contributed substantially to Sisal’s revenues (in 2015), with the Italian market growing by 24.7 percent compared with 2014,” said gaming industry analyst Joss Wood. “The March (2016) revenue figures issued by regulator AAMS show Sisal ranked fourth for online sports betting with monthly revenue of €23.4 million ($26.8 million).” “Gaming companies with a larger online presence are likely to see higher revenue and EBITDA growth over the next 12-18 months than those more focused on traditional land-based business, as the gradual shift online continues, mobile phone and tablet penetration rises, and fast-growing demand for online games increases,” said Moody’s vice president and senior analyst, Donatella Maso. UK-based William Hill Plc has the biggest online exposure by revenue, while pure online operator Sky Bet (Sky Betting & Gaming) has the most significant presence by percentage of total revenue. Conversely, Ladbrokes Plc is one of the largest gaming companies in the UK but its digital division still lags its peers and it reported negative EBIT in 2015, according to Moody’s. While SNAI SpA’s revenues have surpassed Sisal’s following its acquisition of Cogemat SpA and it has gained leadership positions in retail sport and horse betting, “Sisal will remain more profitable mainly due to its more favorable product mix,” Maso said. SNAI is Italy’s second-largest gaming company after International Game Technology. SNAI is also the leader in sports and horse betting and the third-largest concessionaire of amusement with prize machines and the second-largest of video lottery terminals by turnover. The online sector’s fundamentals are expected to remain positive for at least the next two to three years, which will support high single-digit growth rates despite regulatory and tax pressures. Potential legalization of online gambling or further liberalization of the rules that already govern it in some European markets and US states offer growth opportunities for large online gaming operators, which could offset uncertainty in regulatory regimes. Europe, in particular, continues to see the creation of an increasing number of new regimes that permit licensed and regulated betting, notably through interactive platforms, and which is gradually removing the once dominant monopolistic approach favoring the lottery sector, according to the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA). The continuing growth of professional sport and associated betting markets on a global scale, as a direct result of consumer demand driven by technological advances, has provided both business sectors with clear fiscal benefits and further strengthened their symbiotic relationship, says the EGBA. This has manifested itself in a range of mutually beneficial commercial ventures through direct sponsorship of sporting events, sportspeople and clubs, along with numerous indirect benefits to both products from media advertising deals around sport (where legislative frameworks permit). In recent years, online gaming markets — including sports betting, poker, casino, bingo, lottery — have grown rapidly to €36.9 billion in 2014 from approximately €6.6 billion in 2003, and are expected to grow to approximately €42.8 billion by the end of 2018, says Moody’s. The online gambling sector offers growth opportunities for European gaming companies in 2016-17 versus traditional brick-and-mortar operations, despite likely pressure from increasing taxes and regulation, says Moody’s. Last year, the UK became the biggest hub for gambling M&A, as reported by ExitHub. The betting sector has seen a string of deals, as companies respond to higher tax bills in Britain, tighter regulation, growing competition, and rising use of mobiles and tablets. In the summer of 2015, bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral agreed to a £2 billion merger, which was quickly followed by a £5 billion merger between Paddy Power and betting exchange Betfair, creating a gambling behemoth. It was followed a month later by the conclusion of GVC’s drawn-out battle against Israeli online gambling company 888 to buy Foxy Bingo-owner Bwin.Party for more than £1 billion. Photo: David Baazov, founder and former chairman and CEO of Amaya.]]>

Roberto Ongpin to Exit Philippine Online Gambling Tech Leader PhilWeb

Roberto Ongpin to Exit Philippine Online Gambling Tech Leader PhilWeb

Forbes. Aside from PhilWeb, he is the chairman and CEO of real estate company Alphaland (ALPHA) and mining company Atok-Big Wedge Co (AB), and a director of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), PAL Holdings (PAL) and Petron Corp (PCOR). He’s also the chairman of Alphaland Balesin Island Club (ABICI). In Hong Kong, he’s a director of Shangri-La Asia and deputy chairman of the South China Morning Post, both listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. He is also a director of UK-based Forum Energy PLC. His other past and present major holdings include Brixton Energy & Mining, Philex Petroleum, Philex Gold Holdings, Philex Gold Philippines, Silangan Mindanao Exploration Co., Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., and Petroenergy Resources. Since June 30, when they closed at P24.40, PhilWeb shares started plunging after Duterte ordered a stop to online gambling at his first cabinet meeting. The company’s shares closed at P6.72 on September 5, after the announcement of Ongpin’s official divestment plans and temporary departure from the Philippines. PhilWeb, originally known as South Seas Oil and Mineral Exploration Co. Inc. when it was founded in 1969, was renamed as South Seas Natural Resources Inc. in 1984. In 2000, it changed its business focus to become an Internet company and changed its name to PhilWeb.Com Inc., and was subsequently renamed as PhilWeb Corp. in 2002. In 2003, the company received a license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to launch e-Games Stations consisting of Internet cafes exclusively dedicated to casino games, which become its primary business. With PhilWeb’s technology patrons can choose from more than 300 casino games, including baccarat, blackjack, various slot machine games, video poker and sports-betting. PhilWeb’s subsidiaries include BigGame Inc., e-Magine Gaming Corp., PhilWeb Asia-Pacific Corp., PhilWeb (Cambodia) Ltd., and Guam Sweepstakes Corp., among others. There are reportedly 268 operating e-Games cafes across the Philippines, the majority of which are owned and managed by independent operators. “After having resigned as chairman of PhilWeb, and after having made several offers to PAGCOR, all of which have been either rejected or ignored, it has become obvious to me that, while I remain a shareholder of PhilWeb, there is no chance that PhilWeb will be allowed any favorable reception on any proposal to PAGCOR,” said Ongpin. “Regrettably, it appears that I have no other choice but to totally exit from the company for it to have a chance to survive.” ONLINE GAMBLING AND GAMING M&A ACTIVITY The move comes a few months after Montreal, Canada-based Amaya Inc. (NASDAQ: AYA; TSX: AYA), the world’s biggest publicly listed online gambling company and owner of PokerStars, said it hired Barclays to explore a sale, as its chairman and CEO David Baazov, considered the “king of online gambling,” was forced to resign amid accusations of insider trading. Three months ago, private equity firm CVC Capital Partners acquired Italian gaming and payments operator Sisal Group SpA from private equity firms Apax Partners, Permira and Clessidra for €1 billion. Earlier this year, CVC Capital acquired a majority stake in German gaming company Tipico for close to €1.5 billion ($1.68 billion). In December 2014, CVC acquired Sky Betting and Gaming for £800 million, consisting of five core brands Sky Bet (sports betting), Sky Vegas (online in-browser casino), Sky Casino (premium online casino, live table games), Sky Poker (online poker) and Sky Bingo (online bingo). CVC also made previous investments in British sports betting operator William Hill (2002 IPO exit, at 314% ROI) and the IG Group, a digital trading and betting platform. “Sports betting contributed substantially to Sisal’s revenues (in 2015), with the Italian market growing by 24.7 percent compared with 2014,” said gaming industry analyst Joss Wood. “The March (2016) revenue figures issued by regulator AAMS show Sisal ranked fourth for online sports betting with monthly revenue of €23.4 million ($26.8 million).” “Gaming companies with a larger online presence are likely to see higher revenue and EBITDA growth over the next 12-18 months than those more focused on traditional land-based business, as the gradual shift online continues, mobile phone and tablet penetration rises, and fast-growing demand for online games increases,” said Moody’s vice president and senior analyst, Donatella Maso. UK-based William Hill Plc has the biggest online exposure by revenue, while pure online operator Sky Bet (Sky Betting & Gaming) has the most significant presence by percentage of total revenue. Conversely, Ladbrokes Plc is one of the largest gaming companies in the UK but its digital division still lags its peers and it reported negative EBIT in 2015, according to Moody’s. While SNAI SpA’s revenues have surpassed Sisal’s following its acquisition of Cogemat SpA and it has gained leadership positions in retail sport and horse betting, “Sisal will remain more profitable mainly due to its more favorable product mix,” Maso said. SNAI is Italy’s second-largest gaming company after International Game Technology. SNAI is also the leader in sports and horse betting and the third-largest concessionaire of amusement with prize machines and the second-largest of video lottery terminals by turnover. The online sector’s fundamentals are expected to remain positive for at least the next two to three years, which will support high single-digit growth rates despite regulatory and tax pressures. Potential legalization of online gambling or further liberalization of the rules that already govern it in some European markets and US states offer growth opportunities for large online gaming operators, which could offset uncertainty in regulatory regimes. Europe, in particular, continues to see the creation of an increasing number of new regimes that permit licensed and regulated betting, notably through interactive platforms, and which is gradually removing the once dominant monopolistic approach favoring the lottery sector, according to the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA). The continuing growth of professional sport and associated betting markets on a global scale, as a direct result of consumer demand driven by technological advances, has provided both business sectors with clear fiscal benefits and further strengthened their symbiotic relationship, says the EGBA. This has manifested itself in a range of mutually beneficial commercial ventures through direct sponsorship of sporting events, sportspeople and clubs, along with numerous indirect benefits to both products from media advertising deals around sport (where legislative frameworks permit). In recent years, online gaming markets — including sports betting, poker, casino, bingo, lottery — have grown rapidly to €36.9 billion in 2014 from approximately €6.6 billion in 2003, and are expected to grow to approximately €42.8 billion by the end of 2018, says Moody’s. The online gambling sector offers growth opportunities for European gaming companies in 2016-17 versus traditional brick-and-mortar operations, despite likely pressure from increasing taxes and regulation, says Moody’s Investors Service. The recent wave of M&A is likely to continue as operators look to become bigger and more diversified to offset rising costs and compete more effectively. Operators will also increasingly look to develop technology platforms in-house, such as William Hill’s Project Trafalgar, to limit their reliance on third-party providers and reduce customer acquisition and marketing costs, Moody’s added. Photo: Roberto V. Ongpin, Chairman of Alphaland and Atok-Big Wedge; Former Chairman of PhilWeb Corp.]]>

Sports Betting Operator Sportech $SPO Said to Explore Football Pools Exit for £100M+

Sports Betting Operator Sportech $SPO Said to Explore Football Pools Exit for £100M+

CVC Capital Partners acquired Italian gaming and payments operator Sisal Group SpA, from private equity firms Apax Partners, Permira and Clessidra Capital Partners, for €1 billion. Milan-based Sisal is the second largest gaming company in the Italian market. “Sportech combined the pools brands by buying Littlewoods Gaming in 2000, Zetters in 2002 and Vernons in 2007,” the BBC said, adding last December that Netplay TV was in talks to buy the business for “up to £100m.” Sportech, formerly known as Rodime PLC, was originally an electronics company specializing in hard disk drives based in Scotland. In 2000, the company changed its name to Sportech PLC, after acquiring Littlewoods Pools from The Littlewoods Organization for £160 million. “It emerged in February that Ian Hogg, the company’s former chief operating officer, was among prospective bidders interested in the pools,” The Times reported, adding that Sportech said last year that it intended to sell its pools operations, which it expected to fetch “about £100 million.” However, in May Sportech rejected the offers stating, “Following recent media articles, the board confirms that it has received an approach for The Football Pools which it has rejected as it did not match our valuation of the division.” “Sportech has established a unique position in the regulated gaming market worldwide, most notably with our licensed gaming businesses in the US. Following a number of years of significant investment in our technology and licensing, we are now in the position to grow our business, dispose of surplus property assets, benefit from regulatory change and deliver increased value to our shareholders,” said Sportech chief executive Ian Penrose on August 24, upon releasing the company’s interim results for the first half of 2016. “We have reached a key stage in our development, as our US business makes progress in both existing and new markets around the world, and our Football Pools business has reached expected stability after a number of years of modernization,” he commented further. The Football Pools has provided customers with the chance to win big cash prizes by playing pool games based on the outcome of football matches for over 90 years. Over 300,000 players currently play Football Pools games every week. The Football Pools is based in the UK, and is the oldest football gaming business in the world. “The Football Pools has paid out over £3.2billion to winners and donated over £1.3 billion to sports, the arts and good causes in its 90 year history,” the company says. The Football Pools strategy is to stabilize then grow revenues through improved customer retention, increases in spend per head from core customers and the recruitment of new players via subscription and online channels. Investment in technology has driven modernization of the business enabling better cross sell opportunities and a lower, more agile operating base. “We have spent many years implementing significant operational and technological change in order to turn around the fortunes of our 93 year old football gaming business. We are pleased therefore that the final important stages in this process were implemented in the first half of the year, such that the business now has strong foundations to move forward,” Penrose said. The “logistically challenging” and “cost intensive paper coupon collector network,” which has been in decline for many years, “was closed,” the company said. “Customers from this network are now transacting with the business on a subscription or digital basis. A new database system is now in operation following a lengthy process to move away from old legacy systems.” Having made significant improvements in technology, the company is now able to extend the distribution of its products digitally through the launch of a “Football Pools App.” “We have also continued to develop new products to drive additional revenues and increase customer engagement. This summer, we have introduced pool games with cash out functionality to footballpools.com (in partnership with Colossus) and a new online Spot the Ball game to replace the traditional Spot the Ball paper coupon offering,” Penrose added. Sportech’s Football Pools results for the first half of 2016 were in line with expectations, with EBITDA of £7.0m equivalent to prior year after excluding the results of the closed collector channel. Revenues of those continuing channels are down by 3%, according to Penrose. Weekly spend per Classic Pools customer has increased by 2% to £3.08 per week. Total new player acquisition in the six month period was 10,000, with 53% being recruited online. Total customer numbers at June 30, 2016 were 220,000 (2015: 234,000), with 63% of its Classic Pools customer base now playing by direct debit. These initiatives were complemented by a continued focus on the cost base, which reduced from previous year. Sportech processes over $13 billion (£8.5 billion) in bets annually, with a presence in over 30 countries and is licensed to operate in over half of the US States. Sportech is headquartered in London and employs over 1000 people globally. Sportech PLC comprises 3 business divisions, Sportech Racing and Digital, Sportech Venues and The Football Pools. The divisional structure is strengthened by an experienced digital gaming team, driving its iGaming initiatives in the US, its ADW (online wagering) operations in Connecticut and its Fantasy Sports initiatives. Both the Racing and Digital (which processes over $11 billion bets annually) and Venues (which operates legal betting exclusively and in perpetuity in Connecticut in venues, online and mobile) divisions are based in the US and Canada, where the company employs 630 people across field operations and four corporate offices. Sportech is licensed by gaming regulators in 28 US States. The group is benefiting from its strategic initiatives to grow its international operations, and “now generates nearly 70% of its revenues overseas,” it said. Sportech has a rich history within the Football and Racing industries in both the UK and the US. The core of its business divisions is based around pari-mutuel, pool or tote betting and its origins in the UK stretch back to 1923, when the first Pools coupon was handed out and 1913 when the world’s first automatic totalisator machine was introduced in Australia. POSITIVE EUROPEAN ONLINE GAMING GROWTH OUTLOOK The online gambling sector offers growth opportunities for European gaming companies in 2016-17 versus traditional brick-and-mortar operations, despite likely pressure from increasing taxes and regulation, says Moody’s Investors Service. In recent years, online gaming markets — like online poker, casino, sports betting, bingo, lottery — have grown rapidly to €36.9 billion in 2014 from approximately €6.6 billion in 2003, and are expected to grow to approximately €42.8 billion by the end of 2018, says Moody’s. The online sector’s fundamentals are expected to remain positive for at least the next two to three years, which will support high single-digit growth rates despite regulatory and tax pressures. Potential legalization of online gambling or further liberalization of the rules that already govern it in some European markets and US states offer growth opportunities for large online gaming operators, which could offset uncertainty in regulatory regimes. Europe, in particular, continues to see the creation of an increasing number of new regimes that permit licensed and regulated betting, notably through interactive platforms, and which is gradually removing the once dominant monopolistic approach favoring the lottery sector, according to the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA). The continuing growth of professional sport and associated betting markets on a global scale, as a direct result of consumer demand driven by technological advances, has provided both business sectors with clear fiscal benefits and further strengthened their symbiotic relationship, says the EGBA. This has manifested itself in a range of mutually beneficial commercial ventures through direct sponsorship of sporting events, sportspeople and clubs, along with numerous indirect benefits to both products from media advertising deals around sport (where legislative frameworks permit). The recent wave of M&A is likely to continue as operators look to become bigger and more diversified to offset rising costs and compete more effectively. Operators will also increasingly look to develop technology platforms in-house, such as William Hill’s Project Trafalgar, to limit their reliance on third-party providers and reduce customer acquisition and marketing costs, Moody’s added.]]>

Caesars Entertainment $CZR Nearing $4B Playtika Exit

Caesars Entertainment $CZR Nearing $4B Playtika Exit

Shanghai Giant Consortium to Acquire Playtika From Caesars $CZR for $4.4B


Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) is expected to select final buyout candidates for its Israeli Playtika gaming group at a bidding round due today, with the participation of South Korea’s top mobile game company Netmarble, as well as Chinese and other competitors. Netmarble, a mobile game unit of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, recently submitted a letter of intent to purchase Playtika for KRW 4t-5t (US $3.4b-$4.3b), according to Korean media. Netmarble is seeking to expand its global business, and is said to have recently appointed Morgan Stanley as the lead manager of an initial public offering of 2 trillion Korean won expected later this year. The struggling casino company reportedly engaged merchant bank Raine Group LLC to explore the sale of its Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc. (CIE) unit which owns Playtika, as reported by ExitHub in May. Playtika is “the world’s largest Social Casino gaming company delivering premium games to millions of players daily,” according to research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC (Eilers Research). Robert Antokol co-founded Playtika Ltd. together with Uri Shahak in 2010, and in short order the business has become the world’s largest social, and mobile games company focused on the casino genre. As Playtika’s CEO, Antokol has successfully integrated three acquisitions including Buffalo Studios, Electronic Arts’ Montreal poker studio and Pacific Interactive. CIE fully acquired Playtika in December 2011, reportedly for $100 million, and Antokol has remained the company’s CEO based in Tel Aviv, Israel. He has overseen the growth of the business from 15 original employees to now more than 1,000. Antokol has built his career in the interactive entertainment game space, having co-founded CMate in 2001, which was acquired by Oberon Media in 2006. He also previously served as deputy CEO of the Logia Group, a top mobile content and app developer. The division reportedly generated $766.5 million in revenue in 2015, and $218.2 million in the first quarter of 2016, with a 28.8% year-over-year growth. The Playtika studios are “hives of creativity, with the independence and flexibility to innovate along with the shared resources and gaming knowledge to produce best-sellers time and time again,” the company says. The Raine Group is a global merchant bank focused exclusively on technology, media, and telecommunications. Raine has in excess of $2 billion in assets under management. The firm has offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, and Shanghai. With a global reach, Raine focuses on investment and advisory opportunities where its deep industry experience and unique network of strategic relationships can create value for portfolio companies and clients. Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (CIE) is one of the largest online, mobile and social gaming companies and is focused on casino entertainment and is a subsidiary of Caesars Growth Partners LLC (CGP), which is a joint venture between Caesars Acquisition Company (NASDAQ: CACQ) and Caesars Entertainment Corp. CACQ, whith a current market capitalization of $1.2 billion, is a holding entity which was formed to make an equity investment in CGP, a joint venture between CACQ and Caesars Entertainment. CACQ is the managing member and sole holder of all of CGP’s outstanding voting units. CACQ is a subsidiary of Hamlet Holdings LLC, an entity controlled by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital. CIE owns the World Series of Poker, plus multiple social game developers, all under its Playtika division. Games include Slotomania, Caesars Casino, Bingo Blitz, House of Fun and World Series of Poker. In addition, CIE operates a play for fun and real money poker game in Nevada and New Jersey as well as licenses its brands in legal real money gaming jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom. CIE was formed by Caesars Entertainment in May 2009, and operates with a start-up mentality. Its business partners include Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo. Slotomania, its most successful social game, is one of the top ten highest grossing casino-themed games on Facebook, iOS and Android platforms. Caesars Entertainment Corp. provides casino-entertainment and hospitality services in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: Caesars Entertainment Resort Properties, Caesars Growth Partners Casino Properties and Developments, and Caesars Interactive Entertainment. The company owns, operates, or manages casinos; and operates Harrah’s Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center and The LINQ Hotel & Casino for casino guests visiting for gaming and other casino entertainment options, and non-casino guests visiting for other purposes. It operates 14,000 slot machines and 1,200 table games, as well as other games comprising keno, poker, and race and sports books; and buffets, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and lounges located throughout the company’s casinos, as well as banquets and room service. As of December 31, 2015, the company owned and operated 12 casinos. It also manages 28 casino properties owned by Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Inc.; and 10 casinos owned by unrelated third parties. Caesars Entertainment also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. Additionally, the company engages in the third-party leasing of arrangements at its casino properties; provides various retail and entertainment offerings in its casinos, as well as The LINQ promenade, an open-air dining, entertainment, and retail development; and operates The High Roller, a 550-foot observation wheel. The company was formerly known as Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and changed its name to Caesars Entertainment Corp. in November 2010. Caesars Entertainment Corp. was founded in 1937 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 15, 2015. playtika_profile Photo: Robert Antokol, CEO and Co-Founder of Playtika, with Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment.]]>