Aristocrat’s acquisition of NeoGames moves forward with Nevada regulators

April 3, 2024 8:39 PM
Photo: NeoGames (courtesy)
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
April 3, 2024 8:39 PM

Aristocrat is on track to acquire NeoGames after the Nevada Gaming Control Board Wednesday recommended the acquisition be approved.

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The Nevada Gaming Commission will take up the matter at its April 18 meeting. In May 2023, the Commission approved a license for the Israel-based online gaming to operate in the state.

Aristocrat is acquiring NeoGames for $1.5 billion using cash on hand. Executives said the takeover would give the company an entry into the ilottery market and pave the way for further penetration in online-gaming verticals.

NeoGames was founded in 2014 as a spinoff from Aspire Global, a business-to-business gaming company operating in Europe. They launched their first U.S. customer in 2014 with the Michigan lottery.

The Board recommended the licensing of Tracey Elkerton, Aristocrat’s chief compliance officer and director of many of the group’s subsidiaries, including Aristocrat Technology Gaming Systems, the entity doing the acquisition.

“We believe this transaction will be transformational to our business and lays the foundation for our ambition to be a global leader in online gaming,” Elkerton said.

Elkerton called NeoGames an industry-leading ilottery platform for government organizations in North America and Europe. Other business elements as part of the larger acquisition include Aspire Core, an online-gaming platform that provides full-service technology and managed services to igaming and online-sportsbook operators globally. The third is Pariplay, a leader in aggregate-content development for the global igaming industry. The fourth is BtoBet, a sportsbook platform and services that operate in Africa, Europe, and Latin America.

“Together, Aristocrat and NeoGames will have a presence across the full online-gaming value chain,” Elkerton said. “Customers will be able to provide a seamless experience to their players by leveraging NeoGames’s end-to-end technology platform, including a remote game server, aggregation, player-account management, and managed services.”

The acquisition of NeoGames will immediately position Aristocrat as a global leader in a larger and growing online-gaming industry. Through the combined companies, Aristocrat will be positioned to address emerging trends and demand by adding new capabilities to meet the needs, Elkerton said. “International growth opportunities of the combined group include expansion into the North American segment as well more broadly across Europe and the rest of the world market.”

Elkerton said Aristocrat’s regulatory experience will accelerate efforts to expand into jurisdictions in North America. NeoGames shareholders are expected to vote on the deal on July 18th.

“We truly believe this proposed acquisition is very much aligned with Aristocrat’s strategy and long-term growth,” Elkerton said in closing her presentation.

“I’m looking forward to this and it’s much anticipated,” said board member George Assad. “I’m glad to see it finally come to fruition. This acquisition will be good for you, Aristocrat, Nevada, and gaming in general. With the overturning (of the federal ban on sports betting) by the Supreme Court and online sports betting and online gaming globally, this is a strategic and excellent condition on your part as a company.”

In response to a question from the Board, Elkerton said all of the NeoGames employees will transition to Aristocrat and go through compliance training. In some cases, there will be background checks where allowed.