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MGM Resorts looking to absorb Entain in big-time gambling merger

MGM Resorts is looking to absorb UK operator Entain in a mega-deal that’s anything but finalized and could well be the kind of deal that becomes more common as the US sports betting market continues to explode. According to published reports in the UK Guardian and Bloomberg, MGM Resorts is offering $11.1 billion (£8.1 billion) to retain control of the operator of Ladbrokes, Coral, and other UK-facing online gambling brands.

But published sources are also reporting that Entain officials think that MGM Resort’s bid is way too low and will likely reject it outright. Company officials seem to be of the mindset that the offer is based on how the company was performing during the early pandemic, which wasn’t so hot. But Entain, and its stock price, have bounced back admirably leading company officials to think twice about that $11.1 billion.

Of course Entain is a company that MGM Resorts is very familiar with as they are currently partners in the operation of the MGM’s sports betting unit, BetMGM. That operation is seeing plenty of growth as the US sports betting market booms. That’s another reason Entain officials are taking their time making a decision.

Under the terms of the deal, Entain would not only get the $11.1 billion, it would also retain a minority share of about 42 percent in MGM Resorts. This aspect of the deal is a departure from an all-cash deal that MGM Resorts offered in 2020.

It’s unclear whether or not Entain is ready to be absorbed by the US gaming but if they did, it would certainly help MGM Resorts create a larger footprint in the US sports betting market.