Boyd Gaming to acquire Pala Interactive for $170m

Boyd Gaming has struck a deal to acquire Pala Interactive, the North America-facing igaming software and services supplier that is majority owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, for $170.0m (£130.0m/€154.8m).

Agreed through its Boyd Interactive Gaming subsidiary, Boyd said the deal would include all Pala Interactive subsidiaries and be paid for in cash.

Founded in 2013, Pala Interactive provides real-money and social gaming solutions on both a B2B and B2C basis in regulated markets across the US and Canada. Pala Interactive’s range of technology includes a player management system, as well as casino, poker, integrated sports, social casino and poker platforms, and managed services.

Pala Interactive currently provides B2B services in eight US states and in Canada, while it also offers B2C services in New Jersey and Canada.

In addition, Pala Interactive recently secured an Ontario Gaming Related Supplier (GRS) Manufacturer Licence, allowing it to work with approved operators in the Ontario igaming market, which is due to open next week.

Subject to customary closing conditions and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close by the first quarter of 2023.

“The acquisition of Pala Interactive marks the next phase in the ongoing execution of our igaming strategy, providing us full control over the technology, development and customer experience,” Boyd Gaming president and chief executive Keith Smith said.

“By integrating online casinos with our existing land-based operations, we will be able to further leverage and monetise our expansive customer database and the amenities of our nationwide portfolio of properties, driving growth in both our land-based and igaming operations.”

Smith went on to elaborate that Boyd owning its igaming technology platform made sense given the advantages it had in place as an established land-based operator.

“Given our nationwide geographic distribution, significant database and established loyalty program, it makes sense for us to pursue a direct approach with our igaming operations. By engaging directly with our guests and having the ability to personalise the customer experience, we are confident in our ability to create a cost-effective and profitable regional igaming business.

“While the acquisition of Pala Interactive supports our igaming strategy, we remain fully committed to our sports betting partnership with FanDuel, which has allowed us to participate in the nationwide expansion of sports betting.”

Pala Interactive chief executive Jim Ryan added: “This is the result of a considerable capital investment and a lot of hard work by the Pala Tribe and Pala Interactive employees to build a modern-age online gaming platform and business tailored to the North American regulated gaming market.

“Boyd Gaming’s acquisition of the Pala Interactive business, positions the enterprise for the next growth phase, which includes the development and execution of an igaming strategy for Boyd Gaming and a continued commitment of investment and development in Pala’s B2B business.”

Author: Raymond Fleming