From SPAC Dreams to a Riviera Mirage: How Imploded

They partied like they'd just won the lottery.

Aboard the yacht docked at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix were buckets of chilled bubbly, more than $6,000 worth of cigars, a live band, and bow-tied bartenders. UK pop star Robbie Williams dropped by to do a interview.

If anyone knew how much it all cost, they weren't telling the CEO, who suspected the total was in a second set of books no one would let him see, Bloomberg reports. Inc. couldn't make payroll. It had no domestic lottery ticket sales. Its stock price had dived below $1. It was so far behind on regulatory filings that Nasdaq threatened to kick it off the exchange. The French Riviera fete was a blow-out by some board members, including the future CEO, to lure well-heeled investors into what was left—a website with huge aspirations but no content and little to do with lotteries.

Trident Acquisition shareholders approved the deal in October 2021, when was expected to receive over $63 million in gross proceeds. Trident stockholders were so enthused for the deal that less than 1% of the SPAC's shares were redeemed ahead of the merger vote.

against the SPAC's backers soon followed, alleging shareholders were duped into approving the “catastrophic” deal because its lopsided structure gave them a windfall no matter how it turned out. had promised to do for lottery ticket sales what did for getting a ride or for getting a meal. No longer would you have to go into a convenience store to get your weekly fix of Powerball or Mega Millions; you could buy a ticket from anywhere on an app.

Instead, came to represent hubris and excesses: phantom revenues, multiple CEOs hired and fired, accusations of forged documents, an alleged check-kiting scheme, trails of stiffed investors and vendors—including a church— and finally, a promised rescue by a would-be Premier League team owner that turned into something else. Read more.

Source: From SPAC Dreams to a Riviera Mirage: How Imploded