Affinity Gaming, the owner of the Silver Sevens Casino in Las Vegas, is rumored to be nearing a $1.3 billion merger with Sports Information Group (SIG). SIG is the publisher of the Daily Racing Form.
Affinity and SIG are controlled by investment firm Z Capital Group. Should the marriage be consummated, the plan is to combine the regional casino operator and the online betting firm into a new company known as Affinity Interactive. News of the transaction was originally reported earlier today by Bloomberg.
Citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the matter, the news agency reports Affinity Interactive will have nearly one million customers across the US. At the aforementioned $1.3 billion valuation, Z Capital is notching a big win with SIG, which it purchased in 2017 for less than $100 million.
Last year, rumors surfaced about the fate of the Daily Racing Form, indicating that the venerable horse racing publication could change ownership for the seventh time in just over three decades. At that time, DraftKings, Flutter Entertainment, and Penn National Gaming were reported to be potential suitors.
In addition to Silver Sevens, Affinity owns Buffalo Bill’s, Rail City Casino, and Primm Valley Resort & Casino in Nevada. It also owns the Lakeside Hotel Casino in Iowa and the Mark Twain Casino and St. Jo Frontier Casino in Missouri.
Affinity SPAC Impact
In January, Affinity merged with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Gaming & Hospitality Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:GHACU) with the intent of identifying casino and sports wagering assets to purchase.
As a result of the Affinity/SIG transaction, the SPAC will merge into Affinity Interactive and combine with another, unidentified target, according to Bloomberg. Previous regulatory documents indicate the blank-check company could pursue distributed gaming assets or regional casinos.
“Target businesses that we are focused on in this sector include, but are not limited to, regional gaming, distributed gaming, online gaming/sports betting, and the gaming technology and equipment,” according to the SPAC.
Gaming & Hospitality Acquisition raised $175 million in gross proceeds in its February initial public offering (IPO) after upsizing the size of that deal to meet strong demand.
Confirmation of the Affinity/SIG could emerge as soon as this week. Should that happen, it may allay concerns about a softening SPAC market, because Z Capital would be expressing faith that the new Affinity Interactive can effectively partner with Gaming & Hospitality Acquisition to locate credible merger partners.
In recent months, across all industries, the pace of blank-check deals slowed, as market participants grew increasingly concerned about the financial strength and performances of de-SPACed companies. In the gaming industry, talks between a sports betting data provider and a blank-check firm recently collapsed.
Still, the growth of iGaming and online sports wagering, coupled with operators’ desire for media assets, could bode well for Affinity Interactive’s quest to find companies to acquire.
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