Could Evolution make a move for Light & Wonder? Robin Reed certainly thinks so

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Happyhour.io co-founder and CEO Robin Reed has made a bold prediction during the opening session of iGaming NEXT Valletta 2022.

The former GiG boss appeared on a keynote panel called PREDICTIONS, where he, Evolution CPO Todd Haushalter and Yolo Group founder Tim Heath were invited to look deep into their crystal balls to predict what the industry might have in store.

While looking directly at Evo product chief Haushalter, Reed said he thought Evolution was gearing up to “do the big one”, having already sewn up ambitious deals for NetEnt, Red Tiger, Big Time Gaming and Nolimit City over the last few years.

And Light & Wonder – formerly known as Scientific Games – could be next on the M&A agenda after selling off its lottery and sports betting departments, according to Reed.

“The investors out there will need to take a good look at Todd and see how he reacts to this one because I think Evolution is gearing up to do the big one and I have an idea of who that could be,” said Reed.

“Light & Wonder,” predicted Reed. “They have made their business far less complicated. They are sitting on one of the strongest land-based catalogues.

“They are doing about $200m per quarter in EBITDA, about the same as Evolution. They have about 25% market share in the US, the same as Evolution.

“They have an enterprise value of about $8bn these days, while Evolution has an enterprise value of $19bn or $20bn.

“Evolution could fortify their position against the vertical integration we are seeing in the US market against the challenges that come left, right and centre in the live casino space and it would open up new opportunities.

Happyhour.io CEO Robin Reed: “The investors out there will need to take a good look at Todd and see how he reacts to this one because I think Evolution is gearing up to do the big one.”

“As we’re transitioning from Web 2 to Web 3, we need to be more open-minded as there will be a lot of disruption and I think it makes complete sense,” he added.

Haushalter laughed along at the speculation but refused to comment when pushed further.

Only time will tell if the prediction holds weight, but iGaming-interested investors should keep a keen eye on both companies over the coming quarters.

Later on in the panel, the speakers were asked to recommend one stock to investors. Reed chose Evolution, at which point Haushalter pumped his fist in the air in celebration.

For rationale, Reed said: “The one-stop shop is making headway, you have done bolt-on acquisitions and consolidated them well.

“The last report was strong and the share price dipped. Then the CEO increased about €10m worth of shares – he’s all in and so are you.

“The share price has dipped, but only market economics could bring it down further in my opinion.

“It has to be a good buy,” he concluded.

The conference is being live streamed here.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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