With Both Live in Ontario Sports Betting & iGaming, MGM Makes Play for LeoVegas

With Both Live in Ontario Sports Betting & iGaming, MGM Makes Play for LeoVegas
By Mark Keast

There was a rather big piece of mergers and acquisitions news Monday morning — MGM Resorts International made a $607 million offer to buy LeoVegas, a Swedish gaming company.

Both are active in the Ontario sports betting and iGaming markets, of course. The offer for LeoVegas is at a price of SEK (Swedish Krona) 61 or about $6.14 U.S. (a premium of 44% based on Friday’s close of SEK 42.32 or about $4.26 U.S.)

Focusing on an “omnichannel strategy,” MGM Resorts CEO & President Bill Hornbuckle said in a statement: “Our vision is to be the world’s premier gaming entertainment company, and this strategic opportunity with LeoVegas will allow us to continue to grow our reach throughout the world.”

Hornbuckle made it clear the company’s North America strategy would be put to use in the international market.

“We have achieved remarkable success with BetMGM in the U.S., and with the acquisition of LeoVegas in Europe we will expand our online gaming presence globally.”

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How Does Entain Figure In?

Founded in 2011 by Gustaf Hagman and Robin Ramm-Ericson, LeoVegas is a global online gaming company with licenses in eight jurisdictions primarily in the Nordics and rest of Europe.

The acceptance period of the offer will start around June and expire on or around August. The one unknown — where Entain, which jointly owns BetMGM with MGM Reports International, fits in all of this, how that will all sort out, and how that could affect Ontario.

According to some up-to-date sports betting app download data from Morgan Stanley, provided by Sensor Tower, BetMGM Ontario was at 11% of all downloads in the province, with LeoVegas at 1%, through April 23.

Busy Day in Ontario Sports Betting

Is this the season the Leafs finally win a playoff round? They’re in tough with the Tampa Bay Lightning, with their best-of-seven series starting tonight at Scotiabank Centre. That could be the difference-maker for the Leafs — home-ice advantage in the series. That and a young team that’s going to have to finally learn how to compete with some playoff-time grit.

According to our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario: Action on the Lightning has moved the Leafs’ series price down to -115. Leafs are a -126 favourite tonight with the expected lower playoff scores pushing the total down to 6.5 (-122 to the under). And sniper Auston Matthews to score in Game 1 is a pick ‘em at -112.

FanDuel analysts say they’ve seen a lot of different players bet in the Conn Smythe market with Avalanche players being the most popular with bets well spread between the Avs’ top players.

And in the most interesting category of NHL betting: the Oilers have also been a popular pick and they are big -198 favourites to win Game 1 and -230 favourites to win their series against the Kings. The Oilers have been on the rise of late.

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Other Sports to Bet On

After taking their series against the Houston Astros over the weekend, the Blue Jays are at home Monday against the red-hot New York Yankees. The Blue Jays open the series with Game 1 a -108 pick ‘em with Ross Stripling on the mound. Total is 8.5 runs.

And on the NBA front, despite the Raptors’ exit from the playoffs: The Bucks are now the favorite at +190 to win the East following their Game 1 win in Boston. The Heat price is now up to +200 (from +150) and Celtics up to +230 (from +130), and the Warriors now the favorite at +110 to win the West following their Game 1 win in Memphis. The Suns still sit at +130.



Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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