Metropolitan Gaming Limited has made a splash in the casino market, announcing the completion of the acquisition of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. The transaction was given the green light on July 16, 2021, and shows a statement of intent by the company.
The European and African casino establishments will now switch hands to the investment company, which is owned by Silver Point Capital, L.P. and affiliates. It signifies a major shakeup in the industry, giving Metropolitan Gaming full control over eleven casinos dotted around the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Egypt. Perhaps the most eye-catching acquisition is that of the famous Empire Casino, located in London’s iconic Leicester Square.
The investment shows that Metropolitan Gaming has its heart set on conquering the premium gaming sector, acquiring several land-based casinos known for their opulence and luxury. Attracting a high-spending clientele, it provides a massive opportunity for the business.
Land-Based Casinos: Recovering Sector?
The last eighteen months have certainly been tough for the land-based casino industry. Many establishments were forced to close for several months, and are still struggling to recover today.
Caesar Entertainment also suffered, with the company registering a net loss of over $100 million during the second quarter of 2020. The company was forced to furlough a significant portion of its staff, with some establishments forced to keep 90% of their employees at home. However, recent signs are promising, with the net income for the same period this year totaling $71 million (with revenues of $2.5 billion).
Online Casinos Thriving in Africa and Worldwide
Contrary to the traditional land-based casino market, online counterparts in Africa and worldwide have thrived since the start of 2020. In March of last year, the signs of what was to come were clear: Google searches saw record numbers for online casinos, and the sudden cancellation of sporting events was good news for traditional table games and slots.
Companies were also quick to pivot and provide an improved online experience to their customers. In-depth casino guides, such as the one from casinos.co.za flourished, pointing new customers to reliable local casinos like in this case accessible to players from South Africa. Covering everything from basic guides for casino game play, payment and bankroll management methods, to gambling laws in the country, there is no wonder websites like this got so popular.
It’s clear that there is much room for growth and that the industry is still in its infancy. Even before the economic downturn of the last eighteen months, experts already predicted stratospheric growth for the online gambling market. With improving technologies, wider availability of cheap mobile data, and an eager audience, the sky’s the limit.
Of course, despite the growth of online casinos, that does not mean the death knell for land-based equivalents. Conversely, the recovery of brick and mortar does not necessarily translate to lost revenue for iGaming.
But it’s clear the landscape has changed. There are now large portions of consumers who have now been introduced to online gaming, and all signs point to them being here to stay. Nevertheless, there is something about going to a ‘real’ casino, and we, therefore, expect that they will continue to do well in the upcoming years.
What Will 2022 Bring?
It is only in the last months that the market has seen somewhat of an uptick, with governments finally allowing businesses to open up in many countries. In South Africa, for example, where the company is looking to make a big impact, the country has announced the phased reopening of businesses under adjusted Level 3 lockdown. Is this a sign of better days to come?
What is clear is that Metropolitan Gaming believes this is the time to strike and invest in an industry that has struggled. With businesses now slowly opening and experts believing the worst is perhaps behind us, it certainly presents an opportunity for growth. Of course, there is still a significant risk; unfortunately, we are not out of the woods yet.