Italian interactive gaming and sports betting technology firm Elys Game Technology Corp has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Bookmakers Company US LLC, a Nevada limited liability company trading as US Bookmaking (USB).
Founded in 2016, USB is a provider of sports wagering services such as design and consulting, turnkey sports wagering solutions, and risk management. Its management team is led by legendary sports book operator Victor Salerno as President, with over 40 years of experience in the Nevada sports book business.
After the repeal of PASPA in 2018, USB began providing its services to the Santa Ana Star Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico and expanded its New Mexico presence with service provider agreements at Isleta Resort & Casino and Santa Claran Hotel & Casino.
The firm then expanded to Colorado at the Sky Ute property followed by agreements with the Odawa Tribe in Michigan and the 4 Bears Tribe in North Dakota. In 2021, USB entered into a service agreement in Washington DC with an expected opening for sports wagering in the latter part of 2021. It also entered into its first B2C agreement by leasing a skin for interactive business in Iowa.
Under the terms of the deal, Elys will acquire 100% of USB which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Elys. Pursuant to the terms of the membership interest purchase agreement, Elys will pay $12m of which 50% will be payable in cash and 50% in shares of common stock of Elys.
In addition, members of USB will have an opportunity to receive up to an additional $38m plus a potential premium of 10% (or $3.8m) based upon achievement of certain EBITDA milestones during the next four years, payable 50% in cash and 50% in stock.
Said Salerno: “We started US Bookmaking with a vision to build a top ranked team of experienced bookmakers in light of the looming repeal of sports betting prohibition in the US. Since 2018, our team and customer network have been building quickly and we are very optimistic about the expansion and growth opportunities developing in the US sports betting market.
“We realized that to effectively compete and grow with this opportunity we needed a viable technology partner that knows the sports betting business extremely well. Having visited the Elys trading floor in Italy, we are very impressed with the work that the Elys team did to Americanize their sports betting technology.
“We believe the timing of this acquisition is ideal for USB since we have been vetting the technology field for the best sports betting technology while getting ready for the reopening of our clients as the COVID pandemic subsides. The addition of a proprietary sports betting platform will allow USB to customize features that our clients desire while having full control of our cost structure.”
Michele Ciavarella, Executive Chairman of Elys Game Technology, commented: “Our team at Elys has worked diligently to prepare our leading-edge platform for the booming opportunity in the US market. Our focus has been to ensure that our future US clients are able to access a design-built solution for sports betting in the US that is locally supported with comprehensive trading, risk management, operations and maintenance teams for frictionless deployments.
“We are extremely pleased with the relationship that we developed with the founders and highly-experienced team at USB during our negotiations and the extensive synergies that we believe the combined entities have.
“We found great commonality between the family culture that Elys fosters in its Italian operations, as with USB and its business operations spanning a number of states in the US. We believe that our Elys Gameboard technology will give USB the tools they need to rapidly expand their current US footprint and potentially develop operations in the evolving Canadian sports betting market.”