The World Poker Tour is apparently a hot commodity. Back in January, Element Partners wanted to pay just over $78 million to purchase the brand. That deal was not finalized and now, it seems Bally’s Entertainment wants to purchase the company and has offered $100 million to do so, but only if the WPT is included.
On Friday, Bally’s reportedly sent in a bid of $100 million to purchase Allied Esports including the WPT. The deal was confirmed by Allied Esports, stating it received an unsolicited proposal to acquire the outstanding interests in the company for the large amount, payable in cash, capital stock of Bally’s or a combination of both.
There is a stipulation to the deal, that Allied would need to terminate the deal it has with Element Partners to buy the World Poker Tour. Allied has said that its board of directors will evaluate the deal and discuss it with Element Partners.
For now, the board is recommending that the shareholders of the company approve the transaction with Element. The deal with Element has already been filed with the SEC and stockholders have been asked to approve it.
Long-Standing WPT Deal
On January 19, the World Poker Tour announced it was sold to Element Partners by Allied Esports. The WPT and Allied Enterprises had changed over to one entity just a year earlier. Element Partners were expected to close the deal by the end of January 2021 or perhaps by early February. However, that did not happen.
The deal just sat in limbo and then the Bally’s bid was announced. At the time of the Element deal announcement, the WPT was excited about the opportunities opened to it with the deal potential. Now it could be owned by Bally’s which could potentially provide even more opportunity due to the experience of the company and brand recognition.
With the Bally’s bid, an SEC filing will be made by the company containing information regarding the proposal. Stockholders have been asked to read and review the proposal. It will be interesting to see if the Bally’s proposal will be approved or if the Element deal will remain in place.
While the potential sale of the WPT brand is under consideration, the poker brand is trying to get live events back in action. Events that took place last year during the pandemic are now playing out their final tables in the coming months.
At the same time, online events are being hosted and new events being scheduled for this year. The WPT moved online rather quickly last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When casinos began to close, the WPT had to come up with new ways to offer poker services. Going online was the obvious solution.
This year, the WPT kicked things off with events listed online. This month, the brand is offering the WPT500 Online as well as the WPT500 Knockout online. Partypoker is featuring the events, with players able to qualify online as well as pay the direct buy-ins of $530.