GameWorks Announces RTO, Plans Expansion in Silicon Valley

- October 31st, 2019

GameWorks CEO Philip N. Kaplan told INN about his company and its expanding peer-to-peer esports betting platform.

Esports and entertainment company GameWorks will be going public following a reverse takeover (RTO) announced October 21 with GTA Financecorp.

GameWorks provides an experiential gaming niche, with lounges and venues where individuals can play video games and have food and beverages. Founded by a joint venture between Universal Studios, Dreamworks and Sega Entertainment (OTC Pink:SGAMY,TSE:6460), GameWorks’ history dates back to 1997, when it opened its first location on 7th Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle.

According to a press release, GameWorks plans to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange in early 2020.

“The company’s been in esports since before it was called esports,” Philip N. Kaplan, CEO of GameWorks, told the Investing News Network (INN).

Along with going public, GameWorks has plans to integrate peer-to-peer esports wagering into its business model. This comes amid changes to betting laws in the US. Now, certain jurisdictions have approved skill-based betting activities where, for example, an individual could bet their friend at a game of golf or at Call of Duty, Kaplan explained.

“This is an area that could be bigger than our traditional business,” he told INN.

In a further sign of expansion, GameWorks is planning on developing partnerships with casino operators. Kaplan noted that esports betting has the potential to be integrated into casinos, operating alongside roulette or poker tables, for example.

“From a business model perspective, we get to be the house and share that revenue with our casino partner and bring in an audience that they want,” he said.

Kaplan noted that GameWorks expects to announce casino partnerships in the future.

According to Statista, total esports wagering worldwide is projected to reach US$23.5 billion in 2020. As esports wagering ramps up, GameWorks also has plans to expand in Canada as well as internationally. Its first expansion site is projected for development in Silicon Valley.

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“We found a great location and then a great partnership with the second largest owner of shopping centers in the world, Westfield, and a fantastic piece of real estate dead in the heart of a lot of video game companies,” said Kaplan.

Through targeting the Gen Z and millennial demographics, GameWorks is expanding at a time when retail centers are struggling for tenants as shopping behavior shifts online.

“We are going after millennials and we are positioning the company into tech-oriented markets such as Silicon Valley,” he said.

When it comes to Canada, Kaplan discussed the financing opportunities that are specifically ripe for the gaming and esports market.

“The finance world has shifted north in a big way with alternative exchanges such as the Canadian Securities Exchange and other exchanges around the world taking over for smaller company finance.”

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Dorothy Neufeld, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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