Real money gaming and the global gaming market are innovating amid a critical growth trajectory, marking an era of rapid expansion and heightened investment opportunities. This article discusses the role of partnerships and acquisitions in the strategies of gaming and entertainment companies like DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG), Caesars Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ: CZR), Flutter Entertainment PLC (OTCMKTS: PDYPF), Playtika Holding Corp (NASDAQ: PLTK), and QYOU Media Inc. (OTC: QYOUF) (TSXV: QYOU).
DraftKings Inc (DKNG)
DraftKings appears to target acquisitions that strengthen its online gaming and betting platforms, indicating a focus on expanding its digital footprint in the gaming sector. The acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. and attempts to acquire PointsBet USA, Inc. and Entain Plc demonstrate DraftKings' ambition to consolidate its position in online gaming and sports betting. These moves suggest DraftKings is seeking to expand its user base, increase its market share, and enhance its competitive edge in digital sports betting and gaming.
Caesars Entertainment Inc (CZR)
Caesars' M&A activities show a blend of divesting and acquiring assets, reflecting a strategic realignment and focus on core businesses. The acquisition of William Hill Plc and the sale of assets like Caesars Southern Indiana LLC indicate a rebalancing of Caesars' portfolio towards more profitable and strategic ventures. These actions likely aim at optimizing the company's asset base, focusing on high-growth areas, and improving overall financial performance.
Flutter Entertainment PLC (OTCMKTS: PDYPF)
Flutter's acquisitions are geared towards expanding its international reach and diversifying its gaming and betting offerings. Acquiring companies like Sisal SpA, Tombola Ltd. and Junglee Games showcases Flutter's intent to penetrate new markets and broaden its gaming and betting services. These acquisitions likely aim to enhance Flutter's global presence, increase revenue streams from diverse markets, and solidify its position as a leader in the global gaming and betting industry.
Flutter Entertainment's involvement in the global Real Money Skill Games market, valued at $14.9 billion USD in 2022, is notable. This market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.12% over the forecast period, expected to reach $32.95 billion USD by 2028. This robust growth underscores the increasing popularity and financial potential of real money skill games.
Playtika Holding Corp (NASDAQ: PLTK)
Playtika's acquisitions focus on expanding its packaged software portfolio, indicating an intent to diversify and enhance its gaming offerings. Acquisitions like GS Innplay Labs Ltd. and Youda Games Holding B.V. demonstrate Playtika's commitment to integrating new gaming technologies and platforms. These acquisitions likely contribute to expanding Playtika's user base, enhancing its technological capabilities, and increasing its market presence in the gaming software sector.
QYOU Media (TSXV: QYOU) (OTCQB: QYOUF)
It’s not just the big names capitalizing on the growth opportunity. For fast-growing creator-media company QYOU Media (TSXV: QYOU) (OTCQB: QYOUF), the allure of the gaming and real money gaming (RMG) industry is evident.
QYOU’s strategic moves, notably the acquisition of Chtrbox, a social media arm in 2021 and a mobile game developer Maxamtech Digital Ventures in January 2023, exemplify its ambitions to expand and diversify within the dynamic gaming landscape.
The Maxamtech acquisition led to the launch of a casual mobile gaming app, Q GamesMela, which has recently moved from beta to full release of an in-app trading and commerce storefront, embracing G-commerce as another growth opportunity.
These acquisitions signal QYOU’s proactive approach to merging the synergies between social media engagement and mobile gaming. Its main operations are in India where the gaming market is set to become a global leader with an estimated 642 million gamers by 2027.
A Global Marketplace
Indeed, the Indian gaming market is projected to exceed $8.5 billion by 2027, according to Statista data. Last year, the Indian gaming market heavily relied on real money gaming (RMG) as its mainstay. This segment alone infused $1.5 billion into the market. Following closely, in-app purchases (IAP) emerged as the second most significant revenue stream.
Furthermore, the big players can attest to that. In Flutter Entertainment’s Q3 trading update, the company stated gaming growth of 9% was primarily driven by strong execution in India (+52%) and Turkey (+192%). Flutter acquired Junglee Games in 2021 and it is one of the biggest RMG companies in India, best known for its flagship Rummy product.
In fact, the number of mergers and acquisition deals in the digital gaming sector in India soared in 2021 to 13, up from 4 in 2020 and 5 in 2019.
Mobile Gaming in India Surges with 4.32 Billion Downloads
This remarkable expansion in the Indian gaming market is driven by increased smartphone accessibility and affordable data plans, presenting lucrative opportunities in various gaming segments.
The mobile gaming sector, in particular, is seeing a boom with 4.32 billion downloads projected for 2023, overshadowing former market leaders like the United States and Brazil.
QYOU Media is at the forefront, creating and distributing engaging content across diverse platforms. Its focus spans mobile gaming to Connected TVs while harnessing the power of social media and all the while tapping into this vast Indian market.
The company’s ventures with QGamesMela now show promise in the casual gaming sector. Particularly its foray into G-commerce as the rise of cash gaming and the chance to win real money draws a wide range of players.
Read our in-depth report on the investing opportunity presented by QYOU for further information.
As companies seek to consolidate their presence in the rapidly growing M&A market, it will be interesting to see what moves the bigger players make. The scale of this projected growth cannot be ignored as it aligns with a broader shift towards digital and online entertainment solutions.