- Wynn Resorts has announced plans to spin off their interactive division, Wynn Interactive.
- The plan is to go public through a SPAC deal with Austerlitz Acquisition Corp I.
- Austerlitz was founded by William P. Foley II, best known as the owner of the NHL Vegas Golden Knights.
Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) has announced plans to spin off their mobile gaming and sports betting division into a separate company. Wynn Interactive will include, among other things, the WynnBET mobile sports betting app. The plan is to go public via a SPAC deal with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation I (NYSE: AUS.U). Upon the closing of the proposed transaction, the surviving company will retain the name ‘Wynn Interactive, Ltd’ with shares re-listed on the NASDAQ under the new ticker symbol ‘WBET’.
Here’s how Wynn Resorts described Wynn Interactive in a press release announcing the deal:
Wynn Interactive, the online gaming division of Wynn Resorts, offers a world-class collection of casino and sports betting mobile options to consumers across the U.S. and U.K. through its WynnBET, BetBull and WynnSLOTS brands. The Company delivers one-of-a-kind experiences in digital gaming that drive enhanced user acquisition and retention through unique social betting mechanics, a proprietary tech stack and high-quality user interface. Wynn Interactive currently has market access to 15 states covering approximately 51% of the U.S. population and expects to gain access to additional states in the near-term, resulting in its footprint covering approximately 77% of the U.S. population.
William P. Foley, II, Founder of Austerlitz I, is a well known businessman but is likely most famous as the owner of the NHL Vegas Golden Knights hockey team.
Wynn Resorts reported earnings on Monday, and failed to meet analyst expectations with a loss of $2.41 per share for Q1 2021. The market, however, took it in stride and the stock experienced a fractional loss for the day down -0.56 (-0.44%). At the time of this writing, WYNN is up +1.88 (1.50%) in after hours trading. This could be a reflection of investor sentiment over the interactive division spinoff. In theory, it will allow Wynn Resorts to focus on their core retail gaming business while providing more resources to grow Wynn Interactive.
Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts and Chairman of Wynn Interactive, said that the move will provide Wynn Interactive with more capital and resources to compete in the growing US sports betting market:
“We are confident that this transaction will unlock the tremendous potential of Wynn Interactive to further accelerate growth and enable the business to capture the massive opportunity in North America. Bill Foley is the ideal partner to ensure continued success – his track record with business combinations, extensive experience growing marquee consumer brands and partnering to maximize value in businesses like ours will be invaluable as we continue scaling.”
Craig Billings, President and Executive Director of Wynn Interactive, also weighed in on his company’s position in the sports betting and iGaming market:
“Wynn Interactive is rapidly establishing a leadership position in what will ultimately be a $45 billion North American online sports betting and iGaming market through our relentless focus on product features, user experience and customer service. We look forward to working with Bill Foley and Austerlitz I to support Wynn Interactive’s long-term growth.”
William P. Foley, II, Founder of Austerlitz I, also had comments about his excitement at working with Wynn:
“I am excited to be a partner and future owner of Wynn Interactive. Wynn is the premier brand in gaming and luxury resorts and we believe our investment in Wynn Interactive fits the criteria for the type of company and management team with which we like to co-invest. I’m optimistic about the future of U.S. online casino gaming and sports betting and am confident in the ability of Matt and the Wynn Interactive team to execute the business plan and exceed their financial projections against what will be a massive addressable market.”
The deal has been approved by the boards of both Wynn Resorts and Austerlitz I and is expected to close by the end of 2021.