Scientific Games plans to divest lottery, sports betting businesses

| By Richard Mulligan
Gambling technology giant Scientific Games has announced that it intends to divest its lottery and sports betting businesses in an effort to position the company for “sustainable growth”.

Scientific Games said that it was in the process of exploring a range of options to offload the units, including a sale, a strategic combination with another business, an initial public offering or a combination with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The supplier’s executive chair Jamie Odell, and president and chief executive Barry Cottle, both highlighted the importance of reducing debt to provide long-term stability.

At the conclusion of the process, Scientific Games will consist of “leading gaming, igaming and SciPlay businesses”.

With this focus, it intends to grow its digital offerings to be “comparable in size to the land-based gaming business within three years,” Cottle said.

He added: “Today’s announcement reflects key steps to optimise our portfolio and strengthen our balance sheet by significantly de-levering while also targeting investments in our largest growth opportunities.

“These steps will accelerate our path to become a content-led growth company focused on leading in both land-based and digital markets,” he explained. “Our company will be positioned to build great games that define the future of gaming, supported by platforms that power the best operators in the world.”

Doing so would provide it with the resources to expand its digital offerings and platforms, thereby unlocking value for shareholders, customers, and employees.

“Each of our businesses will be better positioned to partner with their respective customers and to deliver long-term growth and profitability,” he added.

In May, Scientific Games reported a year-on-year increase in revenue and declining losses in the first quarter of 2021.

Growth in its lottery segment, as well as digital and social gaming, helped to offset a drop in gaming machine sales over the three months to March 31, with group revenue up 0.6% to $729m.

Odell added: “When I joined the board in September 2020, I told stakeholders that we were focused on rapidly de-leveraging the balance sheet, unlocking the value of the company’s products and technologies and creating a flexible, nimble company positioned to deliver above-market returns to investors.

“Today, we have announced major initiatives aimed at achieving each of these key objectives, recognising significant value in each of the businesses and positioning the company for sustainable growth, all as a result of the dedicated work of our teams.”

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