Vegas Golden Knights Owner Looking to ‘Dominate’ iGaming Industry: Report

Posted on: December 8, 2020, 01:50h. 

Last updated on: December 8, 2020, 02:32h.

Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley plans to enter the online gaming industry and wants his company to “dominate” it, according to a published report.

Bill Foley
Bill Foley, owner of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, smiles as he visits one of the team stores. In a business merger, Foley is looking to expand into iGaming. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Foley’s company, Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp. II, announced plans this week to merge with Paysafe Group Holdings Ltd., in a $9 billion transaction, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. London-based Paysafe processes online payments, which is useful for online gamblers. Paysafe’s clients include sports-wagering companies such as William Hill US and DraftKings.

At the merger’s completion, the company is expected to be called Paysafe Limited. The plan is for it to be listed under the symbol PSFE on the New York Stock Exchange. Foley would become board chairman.

Foley told the newspaper he wants Playsafe to “dominate” iGaming. He is seeking to establish Playsafe’s “tie-ins with every major casino company that’s headquartered or located in Las Vegas.”

Foley is a familiar figure on the Las Vegas gaming scene. The National Hockey League’s Golden Knights play their home games on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip at T-Mobile Arena. The arena is a short walking distance from several large hotel-casinos, including Park MGM and New York-New York.

Brendan Bussmann of Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors told the Review-Journal that iGaming and sports betting are growth areas in the industry.

Sports Betting Goes ‘Mainstream’

The increased popularity of sports betting was evident this year on Election Day. Voters approved sports wagering in the three states where it was on the ballot. These states are Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota.

Sports betting is legal in 19 states and Washington, D.C., according to the American Gaming Association website. It is legal but not yet operational in six other states, including Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota. Legislation is active or pre-filed in four more states.

On an episode of CNBC’s Mad Money airing after the election, host Jim Cramer said states see an upside in the tax money from legal sports betting. That’s one reason sports betting is “taking the country by storm,” Cramer said.

Sports betting has gone mainstream,” he said.

A 2018 ruling by the US Supreme Court gave states the ability to make their own decisions on sports betting.

Overwhelming Support

The vote in Louisiana underscores sports betting’s mainstream acceptance.

In the Bayou State, voters in 55 of the 64 parishes approved sports wagering within their parish. The measure passed with overwhelming support in the parishes that are home to the state’s largest cities, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans. In several parishes, more than 65 percent of voters approved the measure.

Louisiana is home to 15 licensed riverboat casinos, a land-based casino in New Orleans, and four racinos. One riverboat casino, the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles, remained closed this week. It came unmoored during a hurricane in the summer and struck a bridge. No one was injured in the incident. A tugboat returned the floating casino to its original location.

When legislators next meet at the Capitol in Baton Rouge, they will determine sports-betting regulation and taxation issues. Lawmakers also must decide whether sports betting will be allowed only inside casinos or also on electronic devices, such as smartphones.

Authorities have said legal sports betting probably won’t take place in Louisiana until at least 2022.