Private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which acquired Yahoo from Verizon Communications for $5 billion last year and has recently bought the operations of The Venetian assets in Las Vegas, is having preliminary talks with sports betting companies to merge their assets with Yahoo Sports, according to a CNBC report on Wednesday.
According to unidentified sources cited by the news website, Australia-based PointsBet Holdings is one of the companies Yahoo has spoken with, though all discussions are still early and Yahoo may not pursue a deal. The potential move could set up an eventual spinoff of Yahoo Sports, and if a deal is struck, the new company would likely keep the Yahoo branding, CNBC reports.
Late in 2019, Yahoo Sports became a strategic affiliate partner driving qualified bettors to bet on the BetMGM mobile online sports wagering platforms through a partnership with BetMGM and Yahoo Sportsbook. In an exclusive interview with Yogonet last month, Joanna Lambert, President & GM, Consumer Yahoo, said that more than 80% of total Yahoo Sportsbook users registered with BetMGM are also active in the Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Fantasy Sports apps. The week ahead of NFL Kickoff, Yahoo Sports drove a 444% increase in referrals to BetMGM year-over-year and its largest-ever single day of betting registrations.
As for PointsBet, in February the company officially launched its mobile app and digital sports betting product in Pennsylvania, which marked its 10th operational state. It follows launches in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, and New York.
Apollo acquired Yahoo last year with plans to expand and rationalize the business after Verizon acquired it in 2017 and merged it with AOL. Former Tinder CEO Jim Lanzone was named Yahoo CEO in September. Apollo is now searching for leaders of its Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Finance units, who will report to Lanzone, according to CNBC.
In late February, Apollo also closed an acquisition to operate The Venetian Resort assets (The Venetian, Palazzo and Venetian Expo) for $2.25 billion, which could theoretically cross promote a Yahoo-branded sports-betting product. Vici acquired the land and real estate assets for $4 billion.