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IGT reshuffles management as PlayDigital and Global Gaming prepare for Everi merger

| By Robert Fletcher
International Game Technology (IGT) is shaking up its management board with Enrico Drago stepping down as CEO of its PlayDigital division.

The news comes in the wake of two IGT divisions, PlayDigital and Global Gaming, set to spin off and merge with gaming and payments specialist Everi. Current IGT CEO Vince Sandusky will leave to join this new $6.20bn business as its chief executive.

As this merger progresses Enrico Drago is stepping down as PlayDigital CEO. Former Bet365 executive Gil Rotem, currently IGT PlayDigital president of igaming, will now expand his role to become PlayDigital president.

Drago will remain with the business as non-executive director.

These changes will come into effect from 1 April. IGT also noted that Drago will continue in his role as vice-chairman of the De Agostini Italian-facing business.

“Over the last five-plus years, IGT PlayDigital has established leadership positions in the global igaming and North American sports betting sectors that will be foundational to the company’s future successes,” Drago said.

“I thank the entire IGT PlayDigital team for all that we have accomplished in this time. I look forward to supporting IGT in a new capacity and further helping the company define its vision and strategy.”

Drago Sr departs IGT board

Enrico Drago’s father Marco will free up a seat on the IGT board by stepping down. He will complete his remaining term and officially depart after IGT’s annual general meeting on 14 May.

Commenting on his departure, Drago Sr said he leaves IGT in a strong position for “continued growth”.

“Watching and guiding IGT through its evolution from a collection of companies that started with Lottomatica and Gtech grow into a unified global gaming leader has been very gratifying,” Marco Drago said.

“We have been fortunate to have a great group of board members and business unit leaders that have helped drive IGT’s growth during this time. I thank them for their contributions.”

IGT executive chair Marco Sala also addressed the changes. He said: “I’d like to thank Marco Drago for his many years of service and his unwavering commitment to driving results and creating value for all IGT stakeholders.

“Enrico Drago joining the board and leaving his executive leadership position at IGT is a natural evolution that supports the company’s vision for its next era of growth and transformation. 

“Enrico’s value-creation mindset and understanding of global growth opportunities will enhance the board and align with IGT’s strategic priorities.”

Changes come ahead of mega-merger

Incidentally, IGT will soon look rather different, with the name transferring to the combined PlayDigital, Global Gaming and Everi business.

Global Gaming and PlayDigital will be spun off and combine with Everi, creating a business spanning fintech, games and sports betting. IGT shareholders will own around 54% of shares in the combined business and Everi stockholders the remaining 46%. 

The merger is set to close later this year or early 2025, with both the IGT and Everi boards having approved the deal. Following the close, Everi will be renamed International Game Technology Inc and trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The combined business’ projected revenue will be in the range of $2.7bn for 2024, IGT said, with adjusted EBITDA coming in around $1bn.

This leaves IGT’s Global Lottery business. That entity is to change its name and continue to trade on the NYSE, led by Renato Ascoli as CEO.

Net profit down in 2023 despite revenue increase

The changes come after IGT last week published its full-year results for 2023. Revenue was up 2.0% to $4.31bn (£3.42bn/€3.98bn) but net profit fell year-on-year.

Global Lottery slipped 2.4% to $2.53bn but was still the primary source of income for IGT. In contrast, Global Gaming revenue was up 9.1% to $1.55bn and PlayDigital revenue also 9.1% to $228m.

However, net profit for the year hit $156m, down 43.3% from $275m in 2022. There was better news in terms of adjusted EBITDA, which reached an all-time high of $1.78bn, up 6.9%.

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