Flutter Entertainment Back in Court, Virtue Poker Ready to Launch in May, and Las Vegas Casinos to Open at 100% Capacity in June

Rupert Murdochs Fox is taking Flutter Entertainment to court over a disagreement about stock prices following a merger deal. Fanduel, owned by Flutter, previously agreed a merger with Fox Corp. three years ago, but now the pair are at loggerheads over what the agreed price was.

By: Mark Patrickson

Fox is demanding the option of raising its stake up to 18.6% on the same terms as the first purchase. This would equate to approximately a 40% discount on the current value, worth around $1bn. Flutter claims that the deal was agreed to go ahead at the July 2021 price.

Flutter Entertainment is the parent company of gambling giants Betfair, The Stars Group, and Paddy Power. It started buying up Fanduel shares three years ago, leading to fast growth for both firms. It is this value that Flutter thinks Fox should pay as part of the new valuation.

$1 billion is a lot to fight over, even for these huge corporations, so the stakes are high with massive pressure on the legal teams.

Virtue Poker Ready to Launch

The Ethereum-based poker site Virtue Poker has completed a strategic investment round of $5 million and is eyeing up May for a full launch. After making waves a couple of years ago about entering the crypto poker scene with a bang the firm disappeared into the background for a while, but now it has returned and is ready for business.

They also have a secret weapon working with their marketing department. None other than superstar Phil Ivey.

“I’ve been working with the Virtue Poker team for nearly 3 years, watching them build a next generation poker platform. Using a blockchain based system creates a more secure and globally accessible payment system. I’m excited to continue my partnership with the Virtue Poker team and work to bring the platform to poker communities worldwide.”

This is a serious outfit that claims to be the only blockchain-based company to be licensed by Malta's gambling regulator.

One interesting idea by Virtue Poker is the launching of a virtual casino in a virtual world called Decentraland where real-life people can work as staff on the tables. The hosts are employed at Decentral Games’s Tominoya Casino, manning the roulette wheel, blackjack tables, and even the slots.

Nevada Casinos Ready to Open at Full Capacity

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced that the state’s casinos may be ready to open at full capacity on June 1st. All social distancing requirements are expected to be cancelled by May 1st if the pandemic situation continues to improve at this rate. Sisolak said: “I am pleased to announce that I’m very confident every county in the state of Nevada will be able to fully reopen at 100 percent capacity by June 1.”

It was pointed out that the Nevada Gaming Control Board still has a say in what restrictions must be implemented, but June 1st is still looking likely to see everything return to normal bar the mask mandate.

Rumour has it that at least one Las Vegas Strip casino will force its workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to a weekly test. A local radio station reported that Wynn Resorts will insist on this policy for both of its properties in the city. Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said: “Our primary goal is to create the safest possible environment at Wynn, for both employees and guests,” said in a statement. Vaccination rates are increasing throughout the country, and requiring our employees to either be vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis will make Wynn one of the safest vacation destinations in the U.S.”

Bally’s Corp. Buys into Las Vegas

Rhode Island gaming company Bally’s Corp, has bought the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for $150 million. The deal only concerns the operational side of the business and not the property outright.

To raise the cash for this purchase Bally’s sold businesses in Colorado and Illinois for $150 million but will continue to run them for $12 million in rent per year.

Bally’s Corp. was previously known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings before buying the branding from Caesars Entertainment for $20 million. The company recently tried to expand their business reach into the state of Virginia but was passed over by local government.

“The evaluation panel is no longer considering the Bally’s project or the Parkway Crossings site for a resort casino due to concerns about site access, environmental factors and required approvals from non-city entities that may not be granted or extend the project timeline.“

Macau finally Sees Growth

Things are looking up in Macau after casinos posted the second consecutive month of growth. During March more than $1bn of revenue was collected, reflecting a 58% increase year-on-year.

The figures aren't really a true comparison due to on-and-off closures last year but this is still a good sign for the coming months as the pandemic winds down. The single-day visitor tally is also continuing to rise even with foreigners still as good as banned.


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