Officials at MGM Resorts are ready to fight tooth and nail in an effort to prevent DraftKings from purchasing Entain, the company that’s currently running MGM’s sports betting arm – BetMGM. MGM Resorts made that sentiment very clear in a tersely-worded press release that’s adding some interesting wrinkles to one of the biggest gaming industry acquisition stories of the year.
MGM Resort’s response came late in the day last Wednesday and directly addressed the thorny notion that if Entain was sold to DraftKing’s; one of the company’s biggest rivals would be running the company’s sports betting operations. In the statement, MGM Resorts praised Entain, but made it very clear that they would not be giving up BetMGM without a fight saying, “MGM is Entain’s exclusive partner in the U.S. online sports betting and iGaming market through our highly successful 50/50 joint venture BetMGM LLC (“BetMGM”). As a consequence, any transaction whereby Entain or its affiliates would own a competing business in the U.S. would require MGM’s consent.”
While MGM Resorts is gearing up for a fight, it must be noted that they made an $11 billion offer to purchase BetMGM back in January. That offer was considered to be too low, and DraftKings’ $20 billion purchase offer seems to confirm that notion. It’s also worth noting that, at the time, MGM Resorts did not make a counter-offer.
Company officials went on to say, “MGM will engage with Entain and DraftKings, as appropriate, to find a solution to the exclusivity arrangements which meets all parties’ objectives.” That’s just corporate-speak for, “Expect the legal wrangling around this deal to seriously crank up in the very near future.”