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DraftKings’ $23 bln UK punt has long odds

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General view inside a Ladbrokes shop in Harpenden, Britain, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

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LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) - DraftKings (DKNG.O) Chief Executive Jason Robins has more time to fine-tune his 16.4 billion pound tilt at UK bookie Entain (ENT.L). The would-be target on Tuesday afternoon said that it had agreed with the Takeover Panel to extend a “put up or shut up” deadline until Nov. 16. The key sticking point is how to get MGM Resorts International (MGM.N) on board. The hotels-to-roulette group runs a 50-50 U.S. joint venture with Entain and could make life difficult for Robins . MGM’s CEO Bill Hornbuckle wants to control his own destiny in the burgeoning U.S. sports-betting market.

Investors are sceptical. Entain’s shares only jumped by 2.1% after the announcement, leaving them trading at 21.70 pounds compared with the 28 pound per share offer price. Assuming that without a deal they’d go back to the undisturbed value of 19.16 pounds per share, that implies a less than one in three probability of success for DraftKings. Robins’ punt is far from a home run. (By Liam Proud)

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Editing by Neil Unmack and Oliver Taslic

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