Boyd Gaming Eyes Penn Entertainment, ESPN Bet Deal

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

ESPN Bet Parent Company Trading Halt

Boyd Gaming has approached Penn Entertainment with an interest in acquiring the company, which is valued at more than $9 billion, including debt.

This potential acquisition led to a halt in trading of Penn Entertainment's stock on Thursday and has sparked discussions about the impact on the online sports betting and iGaming sectors, particularly in relation to Boyd Gaming's existing five percent ownership in FanDuel and the inclusion of ESPN Bet in the deal.  Trading commenced Friday with the stock price up nearly 20%.

It is important to note that there is no certainty that Boyd will engage with Penn. Analysts already began warning of potential hurdles standing in the way of any deal.

Both Deutsche Bank and Barclays expect Penn would not be interested in a deal with that proposed valuation.


Activist investor Donerail Group last month urged the company to sell assets to generate “meaningful and certain” value creation for investors.

“While we understand that ESPN Bet appears as the company’s newest bright and shiny object that may very well have significant value under the right owners, we ask that the board take a moment to reflect objectively on the past four years of execution, assess the shareholder capital that has been destroyed and recognise that shareholders may simply be tired of continued gambling on uncertain outcomes.” 


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