Scientific Games targets online lottery growth with Sideplay acquisition
Supplier giant continues M&A drive with deal for instant win games provider despite impending lottery division sell-off
Scientific Games has agreed a deal to acquire instant win games provider Sideplay Entertainment.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed by the Las Vegas-based supplier, which is currently undergoing a strategic transition towards becoming a content-led business.
This strategic pivot will involve offloading its lottery and sports betting businesses from the main group.
However, Scientific Games highlighted the growth of online lottery operations in both existing and new markets as one of two key rationales behind the deal.
The other, the firm revealed, was the addition of Sideplay’s digital game server content distribution technology to its tech stack and the potential of increased speed-to-market for new releases.
The integration of Sideplay’s digital games onto the Scientific Games online lottery platform is understood to have already taken place in anticipation of the deal receiving final regulatory approval.
Scientific Games CEO for lottery Pat McHugh hailed the Sideplay team’s proven track record of producing “exceptional” online lottery content to the market.
“We’re excited to welcome Steve Hickson and the entire Sideplay team to Scientific Games Lottery Group to help us advance our strategy as a growth company delivering the best retail and digital content, platforms and game category services that maximise proceeds for our lottery customers,” McHugh said.
Sideplay provides online lottery software to more than 20 lotteries globally and serves as the primary supplier of online instant win games to the UK National Lottery.
Since 2003, the Sideplay team has launched more than 270 instant win games for lottery for gambling operators around the world, with its games being played more than 100 million times.
Sideplay founder and director Steve Hickson will join Scientific Games as part of the acquisition, as will the entire Sideplay team.
Reflecting on the deal, Hickson said he was thrilled to be joining Scientific Games.
“Our goal has always been to be the best at what we do, and this transaction shows that we have in fact achieved that level of success,” said Hickson.
“We are excited to leverage Scientific Games’ global lottery footprint and create the future of ilottery together,” he added.
The deal is Scientific Games’ second major acquisition in the space of a month following the purchase of Sydney-based games developer Lightning Box.