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NEWS 21 November 2017

Scientific Games joins William Hill/NYX Gaming legal battle

By Robert Simmons
Gaming technology supplier Scientific Games has added its voice to a two way legal battle between William Hill and NYX Gaming, filing a lawsuit against William Hill.

This latest lawsuit comes in response to William Hill’s attempts to use its current stock in NYX Gaming to derail the $631m merger between Scientific Games and NYX Gaming.

William Hill, a minority shareholder in NYX Gaming, has requested that its convertible preference shares be converted into ordinary shares of NYX no later than 4 December, 2017, to enable William Hill to vote in connection with the proposed acquisition. Any conversion would give William Hill 32% voting stock in NYX Gaming, allowing it to do so.

In their respective lawsuits, both Scientific Games and NYX Gaming are accusing William Hill of attempting to stifle competition in the US gaming market, in contravention of US anti-trust laws. In its defence Scientific Games asserts that a merger between it and NYX gaming would increase the number of gambling and entertainment choices for its customers, thereby increasing competition in the US gaming market.

Responding on the initial lawsuit by NYX Gaming earlier this month, William Hill said: “William Hill is considering the proposed acquisition of NYX by Scientific Games Corporation and no decision has been made at this time, and William Hill refutes in the strongest terms that any anti-competitive measure have been requested or are being demanded."

A number of industry sources have commented that this move by William Hill is in anticipation of the imminent repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Participation Act (PASPA) in the US. Supreme Court justices are due to conduct a review into an appeal by New Jersey against the constitutional validity of PASPA on 4 December.

Analysts have estimated that the US sports betting market could be worth an estimated $15bn if the Supreme Court decides to repeal PASPA and a number of gaming firms are already making acquisitive moves to purchase sports betting companies in anticipation of this decision.

RELATED TAGS: Online | Industry | Mergers & Acquisitions | Casino
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