Wynn Resorts will release online gaming into a public company

Wynn Resorts will release online gaming into a public company

Wynn Resorts is the latest casino company to signal the future gambling capital of the world isn’t Macau or Las Vegas — it’s your laptop or smartphone.

The gaming company behind multibillion-dollar resorts in Las Vegas, Macau, and Boston this week announced plans to take its Wynn Interactive online gaming platform public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Wynn Interactive will merge with the blank-check company Austerlitz Acquisition Corp., with the combined company having a $3.2 billion valuation.

The Wynn deal follows a string of similar online betting platforms going public via SPAC like DraftKings and Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. It’s also the latest sign traditional casino operators see online gaming as a leading source of future revenue.

“I’ve really been thinking about online sports betting in the [online gaming] space over the last few years,” Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said on an investor call this week. “We knew that this is an opportunity that we had to capitalize on.”

The 300-person Wynn Interactive team is still a small component of the 27,500-employee Wynn Resorts gaming conglomerate. But Maddox said he felt online gaming was on track to be just as large as the company’s commercial casino revenue in roughly the next five years.

Wynn will retain a 58 percent stake in the combined company, and Austerlitz will inject $640 million. It has been a rapid growth story for Wynn Interactive, which only formed late last year following a merger with European online gaming operator BetBull. Wynn Interactive appears to have doubled its employee count since last November.

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