Affinity Gaming to Merge With Daily Racing Form Publisher

Affinity Gaming to Merge With Daily Racing Form Publisher
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Z Capital Partners announced Monday the merger of its affiliated portfolio companies — Affinity Gaming and New York-based Sports Information Group, which publishes the Daily Racing Form.

The deal will close in the coming weeks, according to a news release. Terms were not disclosed. The merger of the digital, gaming and media companies will help the newly formed Affinity Interactive try to capture part of the growing U.S. online sports betting and iGaming markets.

Las Vegas-based Affinity Gaming is wholly owned by Z Capital Group affiliates. It is a diversified casino gaming company whose casino operations consist of eight regional casinos — five in Nevada, two in Missouri and one in Iowa. The company has 230,000 square feet of casino floor, more than 3,000 slot machines, 30 table games, 1,375 hotel rooms, 25 food and beverage outlets and an entertainment venue, the release said.

The combined company also has casino and online gaming offerings, including social gaming, mobile gaming, iGaming and sports betting. It will reach nearly one million customers across the U.S. and leverage the DRF brand as it looks to capitalize on sports betting and iGaming globally.

Affinity merged with Gaming & Hospitality Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, in January to look for casino and sports betting firms to purchase, according to Bloomberg. The SPAC will merge with a new interactive company and continue to look for gaming opportunities, Bloomberg reported.

Mary Beth Higgins, chief executive officer of Affinity Gaming, and Itay Fisher, chief executive officer of SIG, will continue to lead their business units, the release said.

“This merger has been contemplated for quite some time, and with the expansion of online gaming in the U.S. and abroad, we look forward to bringing together these two highly complementary businesses and leveraging their combined strengths to create a significant gaming, digital and media platform with even greater growth opportunities globally as Affinity Interactive," James Zenni, founder, president and chief executive officer of Z Capital Group and chairman of Affinity Interactive, said in the release. “We see significant growth in the sports and online betting industry, and we are confident that together these companies will be even better positioned to capitalize on the many opportunities ahead as Affinity Interactive."

More Than Horse Racing Now

SIG is a global, multi-media information company dedicated to providing data-driven content and digital coverage to horse racing fans. The Daily Racing Form has been the main source of information in the horse racing industry since 1894.

“This is an exciting day for our digital, data and betting customers as the combined company will offer an unparalleled online and in-person gaming experience to our ever-growing customer base,” Fisher, the CEO of SIG, said in the release. “This merger enables Affinity to leverage SIG's leading technology and digital presence and accelerates its expansion into sports and iGaming. We are grateful to have ZCG's continued vision, support, and operational expertise as we enter into this new chapter.”

DRF is the most heavily trafficked horse racing destination, according to the release, and it offers sports data and digital analytics through its DRF Sports sports. DRF Sports will be relaunching with new and expanded features prior to the 2021 NFL season.

“For more than 125 years, DRF has been at the forefront of the gaming industry, and today's announcement of combining our offerings with Affinity's casino properties and sports betting licenses, is yet another milestone in SIG's iconic legacy,” Higgins, the CEO of Affinity Gaming, said in the release. “This transaction will position us to continue our growth, and we look forward to working with Itay and the SIG team to further deliver the best sports betting offerings for the benefit of our combined customers.”

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