Leading developer of land-based and digital games, Light & Wonder, Inc. (formerly Scientific Games Corporation) recently announced that in addition to its existing primary listing on the American stock exchange, Nasdaq, is considering a potential secondary listing of its equity on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Outside of the U.S., Australia is one of the global gaming supplier’s leading markets and listing on the country’s primary securities exchange could enhance Light & Wonder’s (L&W) exposure to long-term institutional investors there and subsequently complement its “strong existing base of shareholders” in both markets. The proliferation of online gaming including live casino in Australia has grown significantly over the past few years and there is nothing to indicate a slowdown anytime soon.
This isn’t the first time a move such as this has been considered. In May 2021, reports were circulating that the then Scientific Games was mulling an ASX-listing of either its global lottery interests or the newly created L&W arm to help raise funds and pay down its sizeable debt at the time. The operator had solicited Sydney-based investment bank Jarden Australia to crunch the numbers on a potential listing in what is the world’s sixth-largest country. This was prior to the demerger that saw the Las Vegas-based gaming giant split its lotteries and gaming businesses.
“The ASX is a premium market with a long track record as a platform for global gaming companies and a deep and liquid pool of sophisticated investors and market participants who have a strong understanding of the gaming business,” said Light & Wonder’s Executive Chair, Jamie Odell in a March 15th statement.
“We believe they will appreciate the value and long-term potential of Light & Wonder’s broad international business and strategy. We look forward to engaging with the market and our current shareholders on a potential secondary listing.”
The company reportedly plans to update investors when the evaluation process is finalized and a decision whether to move on an ASX secondary listing has been made. According to the press release, there are no assurances that L&W will pursue such a listing.
As mentioned, online gambling among Aussies has grow in popularity since emerging in the mid-1990s. Thanks to the proliferation of devices that are able to access the internet, most notably smartphones, Australians are able to place wagers wherever and whenever they like.
Based on findings from the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) “Online gambling in Australia” report – undertaken in June 2021 and published in February 2022 – after “many years of relatively stable levels of participation,” with the exception of lotteries, the frequency of online gambling by Australians “increased significantly” in 2021.
Per the report (pdf), more than one in 10, or 11 percent of Australians have reported taking part in iGaming at some point in the previous 6 months, up from 8 percent in 2020. Participation in online sports betting also increased, with the snapshot showing that in the first half of 2021, 8 percent of Australians bet on sports of racing, compared to 5 percent the year prior.
Moreover, according to the latest report from leading market research company, IMARC Group’s, “Australia Online Gambling Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2023-2028,” Australia’s iGaming market size reached $6,750,598,500.00 (AUD) (US$4.5 billion) in 2022. In addition, IMARC expects a growth rate (CAGR) of 7.09 percent during 2023-2028, with the market reaching US$7.2 billion.
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