Cannae Holdings, Inc. announced a $32 million investment in Sightline Payments, a dynamic fintech company that is enabling the next generation of cashless, mobile and omni-channel payment solutions for the gaming, lottery, sports betting, entertainment and hospitality ecosystems, as part of a completed $100 million funding round.
“Sightline Payments’ seasoned leadership team has a proven track record and a vision to capitalize on many of the highest growth sectors in the entertainment industry, and I look forward to working side-by-side with them to achieve their goals,” said William P. Foley II, chairman of Cannae. “Sightline is the only FinTech company specializing in the gaming industry. Their solutions will provide the first true omnichannel solution for gaming—connecting a customer’s sports betting account, online casino accounts, and integrated casino resort loyalty accounts together for use across any and all of those verticals.”
Foley, who also owns the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, says that the advantage Sightline has is its simplicity.
“Sightline’s Play+ solution is the only platform that spans the entirety of the gaming operation, from digital to the casino floor and across the essential non-gaming activity of the modern integrated casino resort,” he says. “When an account is created, patrons receive a single, FDIC insured account that can work seamlessly across all channels, verticals, properties, and jurisdictions.”
And when it comes to iGaming, Sightline maintains that edge, according to Foley.
“The Play+ solution is the only payments solution in the market today that connects the digital and on-premise wagering accounts enable casinos with the ability to provide their patrons with online sports betting, online casino, and brick-and-mortar gaming accounts using the same funds,” he says. “Giving customers the ability to use their funds across these channels will offer operators a more complete picture of their customers and their habits and has the opportunity to revolutionize personalization and loyalty.”
Sightline CEO Joe Pappano says that Play+ will encourage customer loyalty.
“Research by both the AGA and Paysafe indicates that a consumer’s top priority when choosing a sportsbook is the ease of payments and quick and easy deposits,” he points out. “Through our discussions with operators nationally, we stress to them the importance of payments in loyalty and retention, particularly given the high cost of player acquisition for them.”
With more than five years of experience on the casino floor, Pappano says Play+ is now a mature system, accepted by players.
“Play+ was designed from the beginning as an omnichannel solution, with integrations in place with the top digital platform and all of the key CMS providers,” he says. “We first brought slots live in the market over five years ago, then the Supreme Court invalidated PASPA and the rapid expansion of mobile sports led to our explosive in the digital channel. Now we are supporting our casino partners to bring these channels and verticals together and extend the cashless experience across the entire digital and integrated casino resort experience.”
Foley says that Pappano’s recent appointment as CEO will help move Sightline forward.
“Joe brings over 30 years of experience in the integrated payments industry,” says Foley. “Joe’s knowledge of the payments industry, ranging from merchant acquiring, card-issuing and servicing, prepaid and rewards, mobile and alternative payments and third-party processing with a focus on sports betting, casinos, lottery and iGaming, is critical and positions the company to accelerate product innovation and market expansion.”
In addition to the approximately $32 million investment from Cannae, strategic investors in Sightline Payments include Searchlight Capital Partners, Point Break Capital, Shift4 Ventures, Genting Group and Vectr Ventures.
Over the past 12 months, consumer interest in online sports wagering and iGaming has grown rapidly, in part due to the expansion of legalized mobile gaming opportunities in many states across the United States. Payments companies like Sightline helped sports betting grow by nearly 70 percent and iGaming by nearly 200 percent in 2020. The combined online sports betting and online casino market is projected to grow from $3 billion in 2020 to $22 billion by 2026.
The safety, security, and convenience of use within digital gaming channels has triggered a massive increase in consumer interest and casino operator demand for cashless digital payment technologies, generating tremendous sales growth for Sightline Payments solutions. Casino-based gaming is a $90 billion revenue market, serving over 100 million customers annually.
Play+ is Sightline’s flagship solution for seamless and secure pay-and-play with more than 1.5 million enrolled accounts. Play+ is the leading cashless mechanism for users to safely and easily store money and fund their entertainment online, on the gaming floor, and on sports betting platforms with instant access to their money. The Play+ solution has proven valuable to operators and customers given the accelerating demand for digital payments and cashless integration.