Mexico’s PlayCity gaming operations back on the block


playcity-casino-apuestas-mexico-saleMexico’s Grupo Televisa conglomerate is once again flogging its PlayCity gaming operations, with some familiar names said to be among the potential buyers.

Last week, Mexican media outlets reported that Televisa was itching to sell its International Bets subsidiary, which includes the PlayCity Casino and PlayCity Apuestas businesses plus a daily and weekly raffle business. The PlayCity operations include 17 terrestrial gaming venues offering 7,200 electronic gaming machines, as well as online sports betting (powered by European tech provider Kambi)

Similar reports of an imminent sale emerged in May of this year, and likely candidates for acquiring the PlayCity brand included the Blackstone Group private equity giant, which acquired Spanish gaming operator Cirsa Gaming Corp this spring.

The new reports indicate that Blackstone remains among the frontrunners, along with Spanish gaming giant Codere, which already has a presence in Mexico via its site.

Televisa doesn’t break out PlayCity’s exact contribution to the conglomerate’s revenue, instead bundling the gaming division’s performance into its catch-all ‘other’ category. This category contributed a mere 8% of Televisa’s Q2 revenue and just 2% of its operating income. The PlayCity venues reportedly welcomed 4m visitors in 2017, a 42% year-on-year improvement.

Televisa is reportedly looking to raise $300m from the sale, which is part of a plan to ditch its non-core operations. The company reportedly expects to conclude a transaction within 90 days, although those previous reports in May claimed a deal would be done by July or August, so feel free to take this new timeline with a grain of salt (tequila and lemon slice optional).

PlayCity is believed to hold licenses that allow the company to open up to 50 gaming venues, although that capacity may not survive a transfer of ownership, particularly given the market’s regulatory uncertainty and widespread complaints regarding questionable licensing tenders.