Wynn Interactive to Form Publicly Traded Company Through Austerlitz Merger

  • The merged business will trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker ‘WBET’
  • Wynn Resorts expects the combined company to have a value of $3.2bn upon closing
  • Austerlitz will provide $640m to help fuel growth as the company expands across the US
  • Wynn’s revenue remains below pre-pandemic levels, with the Q1 total down 24% y-o-y
Nasdaq symbol
Wynn Resorts’ online gaming division, Wynn Interactive, has agreed to merge with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation and begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A new Wynn company

Wynn Resorts has decided to create a new publicly traded company through its online gaming division Wynn Interactive. The segment includes Wynn’s online casino and sports betting offerings, specifically the WynnBET, BetBull, and WynnSLOTS brands.

In order to go public, the Wynn Resorts subsidiary is combining with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation – a special acquisitions company led by Vegas Golden Knights owner William Foley. The combined business will keep the name Wynn Interactive, and will list its shares on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol ‘WBET’.

the ideal partner to ensure continued success”

Commenting on the merger, Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts and chairman of Wynn Interactive, described William Foley as “the ideal partner to ensure continued success.” The executive pointed specifically to Foley’s “track record with business combinations” and his “extensive experience growing marquee consumer brands.”

Wynn expects the business to boast an enterprise value of approximately $3.2bn at closing, representing 4.5 times the digital segment’s projected 2023 revenue.

Big plans for growth

In a statement confirming the merger on Monday, Wynn Interactive president and executive director Craig Billings expressed excitement over the deal. He said it would help support Wynn Interactive’s growth in what he believes will ultimately be “a $45bn North American online sports betting and iGaming market.”

Currently, Wynn Interactive has market access in 15 states including New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, and Tennessee. The company estimated that this covers approximately 51% of the US population – a percentage it expects to increase in the “near-term” to around 77%.

According to the statement, Wynn Interactive intends to accelerate its growth through customer acquisition initiatives, national marketing, and continued product enhancements. Austerlitz Acquisition Corp. will provide the combined company with approximately $640m of additional cash proceeds to further these goals.

Wynn Resorts expects a significant portion of its growth to come through its online sports wagering offering WynnBET. The company has launched sports betting in six states so far, and has outlined plans for “rapid expansion in 2021” with market access in nine additional jurisdictions.

Still in recovery

Although Wynn Resorts’ interactive segment has made some significant gains over the past year, the pandemic has created difficulties for the company’s land-based business. With many properties still suffering from travel or capacity restrictions, the operator’s overall revenue remains below pre-pandemic levels.

revenue fell 24% from 2020 levels

Wynn revealed its results for the first quarter of 2021 in a statement on Monday. Revenue fell 24% from 2020 levels, totaling $725.8m for the period. Las Vegas operations took the steepest hit, with revenue down $145.1m from 2020. In good news for Wynn, net loss fell to $281m, a decrease of 30% year-on-year.

Despite the continued year-on-year decline, Wynn CEO Maddox expressed optimism regarding the company’s Q1 results. He pointed to “continued strength” in Wynn Las Vegas’s casino segment, in addition to “record breaking adjusted property EBITDA” at Encore Boston Harbor. Meanwhile, he described “continued gradual improvement in visitation” in the Macau market.