MGM Resorts Announces $750M Public Offering of Senior Notes

Outside of MGM in Las VegasLast week, MGM Resorts International announced a $750M public offering of senior notes due in 2028. The move is seen as an act from MGM to boost its liquidity with the company suffering significant losses this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per an official statement from MGM:

“The notes being offered will be general unsecured senior obligations of the Company, guaranteed by substantially all of the Company’s wholly owned domestic subsidiaries that guarantee the Company’s other senior indebtedness, and equal in right of payment with all existing or future senior unsecured indebtedness of the Company and each guarantor.”

An Increase From $500M

Last Thursday, MGM initially announced plans for a public offering of $500M in aggregate amount of 4.750% senior notes due in 2028 at par. The gambling company later upsized the original aggregate principal to $750M. The transaction is expected to close on October 13, 2020 but subject to customary closing conditions.

BofA Securities, Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citizens Capital Markets, Inc., Fifth Third Securities, Inc., Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. and SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc. will act as joint book-running managers and Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Truist Securities, Inc., Comerica Securities, Inc. and Union Gaming Securities, LLC will act as co-managers for the proposed offering.

According to a press released from MGM, the company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of the notes for general corporate purposes. This could include the refinancing of existing debts and investment in short-term interest-bearing accounts and/or securities.

Significant Losses

Last June 30th, MGM’s total indebtedness was valued at $11.4B. This included an aggregate of $3.7B at the MGP Operating Partnership and an outstanding balance of $2.5B at MGM China. The company’s liquidity was placed at $8.1B and these consisted of cash, cash equivalent, and amounts under its revolving credit facilities.

For the second quarter of 2020, MGM reported a net loss of $857M which was a stark contrast from the $43M income in posted for the period of April-June 2019. Likewise, diluted loss per share was at $1.67 as compared to earnings of $0.08 per share for the second quarter of last year. For the first half of 2020, MGM reported a total net loss of $50.4M. During the same period last year, the company posted a net income of $74.9M

The company is set to release its third quarter results later this month. But despite their casinos returning for operations after months of stoppage, the company is expecting significant losses due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent imposition of health and safety measures.

BetMGM Doing Well

But while MGM’s land-based casinos have struggled due the pandemic, MGM’s online betting venture BetMGM is doing well and continues to show significant growth with punters shifting to online gamblig during these pandemic-hit times.

In a trading update released by GVC last week, BetMGM is performing better than expected so far for the current year. The estimated net revenue for 2020 is now in the vicinity of $150M-$160M. MGM’s betting app is now live in a total of 8 states and has captured a market of 17% in those areas.

MGM and GVC launched BetMGM in 2018 and relaunched it last year with a new platform. The new look seemed to work and aided by the pandemic, it has doubled its market share in Las Vegas to 22% from the start of the year through August 2020. In New Jersey, BetMGM also captured 10% of the market share in online sports betting and 24% of retail sports betting.

5Dimes Agrees to a $46.8M Settlement With Feds

Man Handing Out Money With a Sportsbook Background
Costa Rica-based sportsbook 5Dimes had reached a $46.8M settlement with the United States government after a money-laundering investigation.

According to sources who obtained a copy of the settlement agreement with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the East District of Pennsylvania, 5Dimes agrees to pay the U.S. government $15M in cash while also forfeiting more than $30M of assets.

The deal also absolves Laura Verola of any criminal conduct alleged against 5Dimes, stating that she did not have authority of the sportsbook’s operations. Verola is the widow of 5Dimes founder Sean Crighton. She assumed responsibility for 5Dimes’ assets after her husband was kidnapped in 2018. Crighton was later found dead one year later.

Said Maria M. Carillo, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania:

“We achieved the objective, which is, she is compliant with U.S. federal law right now. What that means for her is she is not operating in violation of U.S. law, and she is not actively taking bets from U.S. bettors. Whether she’s positioned well for regulators, that’s up for the regulators to decide. 5Dimes certainly is no longer in violation of federal law.”

Pursuing A U.S. License

Likewise, 5Dimes also agreed stop accepting bets from customers in the United States while operating with a Costa Rican license. This part of the settlement explains why 5Dimes announced last month that they would stop taking wagers from U.S. customers starting October 1st.

The non-prosecution agreement also allows 5Dimes to expand to pursue a U.S. license and expand to the legal sportsbetting market in the United States. Per the settlement, Varela has made “significant changes” to 5Dimes’ operations that would make it qualified to participate in lawful gaming operations across the word.

Federal Investigation

West Virginia native Creighton founded 5Dimes sometime around the year 2000, when legal sportsbetting still did not exist in the United States. It grew to become one of the most popular US sportsbooks that took bets from American customers and eventually caught the attention of federal investigators.

5Dimes used third-party payment processors to accept illegal wagers from U.S. customers. The District Attorney’s Office said that third parties processed the sportsbook’s credit card transactions that concealed the nature of charges. The payment processors then transferred the credit card proceeds to bank accounts of shell companies operated by Creighton.

Verola’s Cooperation

In 2016, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Attorney’s Office in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security conducted an investigation on 5Dimes for money laundering. In the seizure warrant filed before the U.S. District Court, agents detailed how they believe 5Dimes instructed U.S. sports bettors to use gift cards as a way to place bets. Creighton was never formally charged but the investigation continued for years.

Verola’s attorney’s contacted the East District of Pennsylvania in 2019, and offered her cooperation to resolve the case. According to the settlement, she helped retrieve Creighton assets which were forfeited in favor of the Federal government. These include gold coins, cryptocurrency, funds from the sale of season tickets to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and West Virginia college basketball and football, and a George Mikan rookie basketball card which he purchased for $400,000.

Michigan Eyeing To Fast-Track Online Gambling

Michigan State Flag
When Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s House Bill 4311 turned into the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, the original plan was for mobile gaming in Michigan to go live in early 2021. However, it looks like the launch will come sooner, even perhaps in late November.

Michigan online gambling looked like a longshot for 2020. There was no rush at all because sports betting was already allowed in retail shops starting last March. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it forced the casinos to close. With establishments and the state losing millions in revenues, authorities found the need to fast track online gaming.

Fast-Tracked

The Michigan Gaming Control Board discussed the proposed mobile gaming laws in a public hearing last week. According to executive director Richard S. Kalm, they expect to submit the final proposal to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules within the next few days. Once approved or after they are amended, they will go to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in October.

Once the proposal reaches the legislature, they will do one of two things: pass them or go through the process of passing a law that would reject the rules. Per State Senator Curtis Hertel, it’s more likely to approve the rules as they are and once that is done internet gambling will go live. For the state, the sooner it is rolled out, the better as Michigan online gambling is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state.

Ready For Online Gaming

The biggest names in the industry are ready for Michigan online gambling. Gaming companies like BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel are already operating in Michigan. Barstool Sportsbook is planning to launch with Greektown Casino in 2021. More are expected to follow.

Once Michigan legalizes online betting, the state is expected to see exponential growth in that industry, just like what happened to Illinois. Online wagering is going to be a game changer in the gaming business in the state. The pandemic has made it difficult for punters to place bets at retail shops. Having the ability to do so online will change that.

5Dimes Temporarily Ceases U.S. Offshore Operations

Icon Displaying Variety of Sports, Hand Holding Cash
Costa Rica-based online sportsbook 5Dimes has issued a notice to its customers informing them that it will be temporarily ceasing its U.S. operations effective September 25, 2020.

The move is seen by industry experts as part of a bigger plan by 5Dimes to legitimize its operations in the United States. 5Dimes has operated in the United States an an offshore sportsbook. But with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, states have been allowed to pass their own legislation that will legalize sports betting. Since then, more than 20 states have legalized sports betting in their jurisdiction and that number is expected to increase further. With the legal sports betting market growing in the United States, 5Dimes is aiming to be among the legal gambling operators in the country.

In a social media message, the sportsbook said:

“5Dimes is excited to announce that it is embarking on a new business venture. With the evolving legal landscape in the United States, we want to take advantage of the opportunity to offer an improved online sports betting experience to our many US customers. In order to do this, we need to suspend temporarily our service of the US market so that we can launch our new operations with a fresh start.”

Temporary Cessation

To facilitate the temporary cessation, 5Dimes will stop accepting best from U.S. markets at 12am ET of September 21, 2020. Customers have been informed to withdraw their balances until 12 am ET of September 25, 2020.

All customer funds remaining on 12 am ET of September 30th will be transferred to a third-party claims administrator who will attempt to deliver the funds to the account holder. All funds undelivered by 12 am ET of September 30, 2021 or one year from now,  will be deemed abandoned by the owner.

State By State Entry

After its temporary closure, sources say that 5Dimes will attempt to re-enter the U.S market state by state, seeking the approval of state regulators. The United States is one of the biggest sports betting markets in the world. But American punters have always been wary of offshore betting sites. 5Dimes hopes that becoming legal in the U.S. will help it earn a bigger share of the pie.

Also, Mature U.S. markets like Nevada and New Jersey are strict in their laws against offshore gambling operators in the last five years. Offshore betting site Bovada and BetOnline have stopped accepting New Jersey customers since last year because of issues with state regulators. Once 5Dimes gets its U.S.licenses, they will no longer have to worry about suffering the same fate.

NGCB Approves William Hill’s Takeover of CGT Operations in Las Vegas

William Hill

British company William Hill has received the green light to purchase CG Technology’s operations in Nevada. On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved Wiliam Hill’s takeover of CGT’s assets in the Silver State.

William Hill CEO Joe Asher said that he was excited with the approval of the acquisition. He added that they have started discussions with Las Vegas Sun for the renovation of the Venetian sportsbook. Asher also said that they are looking to renovate Silverton:

“There are some things we will do a little differently. We just wanted to get the finish line. We’ve invested millions into sportsbooks in this state.”

Significant Presence on the Strip

The approval will allow William Hill to take control of the sportsbooks of The Venetian Las Vegas, Palazzo, Tropicana Las Vegas, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Palms, and Silverton. All casinos are on or near the Las Vegas Strip which is a market where William Hill can grow.

Willam Hill announced the planned takeover last year. As one of the largest sportsbooks in the world, William Hill already has a strong presence in Nevada. Prior to the news of its proposed acquisition of CGT’s assets, William Hill operated 113 race and sportsbooks in the Silver State. However, it lacked a significant presence on the Strip.

The deal effectively removes one competitor from the picture and puts William Hill brand in some of the Strip’s most shiny casino gems. Nevada is currently home to around 200 sports betting locations and the British company continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market.

End of The Road For CGT

Asher was the managing director of CG when it came to Nevada during the mid-2000s. It was then known as Cantor Gaming and was the sports betting branch of the financial company Cantor Fitzgerald. Asher quit in 2007 to form his own sportsbook firm called Brandywine Bookmaking which quickly grew into 16 race and sportsbooks in Las Vegas under the name Lucky’s Race and Sports.

For its part CG has a history of being penalized by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It has been penalized three times for various violations including allowing out-of-state wagers, accepting bets after the conclusion of events, and paying out too much and too little on some wagers. CG paid a total of $10M across those violations.

ESPN also reported that CG was involved in in an “illegal gambling and money laundering scheme” which cost it another $22.5M in federal penalties. The NGCB had threatened to revoke CGT’s license as recently as last year but it survived the storms. However, this latest development does look like the end of the road for CGT in Las Vegas.

theScore Bet to Run Online NJ Casino for Twin River

Twin River Casino
Score Media and Gaming Inc has been given access to run an online casino for Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. in New Jersey.

Said John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore:

“The addition of an online casino offering to our award-winning and truly differentiated mobile sports betting platform broadens our reach and deepens our strong portfolio of assets. This is yet another step towards providing theScore’s media and betting patrons with a completely holistic and tightly integrated media and gaming experience.”

A Long Term Deal

In an announcement made on Thursday, Score Media subsidiary theScore Bet said that it signed a long term deal with Twin River for the opening of an online casino in the Garden State. The launch is expected to be in the second half of 2021, subject to the procurement of the necessary permits and licenses from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Under the agreement, Twin River will receive a percentage of the revenue made by theScore Bet in its online casino operations in New Jersey, subject to minimum guaranteed amounts and an upfront fee.The contract is for 10 years but theScore Bet has the option to extend the pact for another five years plus five more years if both parties consent.

Contingent on Bally Atlantic City Purchase

Score Media has been taking bets in New Jersey since 2019 when it launched its sports betting app there. The Canadian betting company is close to opening its doors in Colorado and is in the process of securing regulatory approvals in Indiana. theSports Bet was named as the Best Online Mobile Sports Betting Experience at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Twin River is entering the Garden State via a $25M acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City in Boardwalk. The deal, announced in April, is currently under works but has not been finalized. Twin River’s covenant with theScore Bet is contingent on the completion of the purchase.

Twin River Serious in New Jersey

Based on its recent moves, Twin River is serious in New Jersey and it is looking to maximize the potential of its purchase of Bally’s. The treaty with theScore Bet is its third big move in two weeks that is related to its Garden State business.

Twin River entered into a sports betting contract with Esports Entertainment Group last week. Just this Tuesday, the gambling company also revealed a similar accord with Philadelphia-based sports betting startup Sporttrade.

IGT Inks Sports Betting Pact With Boyd Gaming Corp.

IGT

International Game Technology PLC announced on Wednesday that it has inked a sports betting technology deal with casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp.

Under the agreement, IGT will cover the equipment for Boyd Gaming’s retail sportsbooks in the state of Nevada and the technology for the mobile app ans sports betting site of the casino operator. For its part, Boyd has agreed to deploy IGT’s PlaySports self-service betting kiosks throughout its Las Vegas-based casinos. Both companies have agreed to a phased rollout for the services and features covered in this long-term agreement.

Said IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President Enrico Drago:

“IGT and Boyd Gaming will create a dynamic omnichannel sports betting product that is sure to stand apart in Nevada, the most mature and high-volume sports betting destination in the U.S. IGT’s PlaySports platform enables Boyd Gaming to differentiate its sports betting product in meaningful ways that position them to attract new players and grow revenue in the segment.”

Not their First Partnership

Aside from offering Boyd’s clients with a more progressive sports betting platform, the PlaySports agreement will allow the US. casino operator to have an improved back office navigation, and the ability to update its app in line with real-time data and betting trends. Likewise, players will enjoy new features on the app as well as a wider variety of bets.

This isn’t the first time that Boyd Gaming and IGT have partnered. Since 2018, PlaySports has been powering Boyd Gaming’s sports betting facilities in its gaming properties in Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania.

Boyd Casino operates a total of 29 casinos in 10 different states. When it comes to Nevada, three of its three Las Vegas casinos remain closed since they were ordered by the government last March to shut down operations as part of the health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, one of those Casinos–Eldorado, was granted approval by the Henderson City Council to make its gaming and liquor license non-operational until 2021.

IGT and FanDuel

Boyd Gaming’s regional casinos have a sports betting partnership with FanDuel. The latter runs the sportsbook in seven of Boyd’s regional casinos and mobile sports betting apps in Pennsylvania and Indiana. They are expected to launch a digital sports betting app at Boyd’s Par-A-Dice Casino in Illinois. 

Earlier this month, IGT and FanDuel extended their U.S. partnership through 2024. Through this agreement, FanDuel sportsbooks in eight states will utilize the IGT platform. Meanwhile, FanDuel will offer IGT’s online casino games in Pennsylvania and New Jersey where the former currently operates.

IGT is a global leader in gaming solutions including gaming machines, lotteries, sports betting and digital. It has established relationships with governments and regulators in over 100 countries worldwide. 

NBA Launches NBABet Steam in Orlando Bubble


The NBA used the bubble tournament in Orlando to showcase NBABet Stream, a new and experimental betting-focused broadcast option which is available via NBA League Pass and NBA TV Networks.

A Betting-Focused Broadcast Option

NBABet Stream features tailored commentary, different camera angles, and enhanced graphics. The stream also has real-time betting odds and stats provided by BetMGM. The league used nine seeding games for the first run of this betting-driven telecast. Said NBA head of Fantasy and Gaming SVP Scott Kaufman-Ross:

“The point of an alternate broadcast is for it to be different from the primary telecast. We didn’t feel we needed a perfect professional play-by-play person. We wanted to provide a group of people that would simulate you and your friends talking about the game from a betting perspective. It’s light. It’s fun. It’s supposed to be much more conversational and provide a different way of viewing the game — specifically, in this case, targeted at those thinking through betting concepts as they are watching NBA content.”

Aside from the alternative camera angles, betting odds, and stats, NBABet Stream also showcases betting analysts from the likes of Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, and Action Network to provide commentary and analysis throughout the broadcast. The alternate broadcast also gives fans a more engaging option to watching the games, especially since they are not allowed to watch inside the venue due to health and safety protocols.

New Sports Betting Landscape

Teams in other sports have experimented with alternate broadcasts centered on betting. But as far as the NBA is concerned, NBC Sports affiliates, beginning in Washington D.C., started offering alternate telecasts while focusing on in-game betting. But other than that, this is the first step for the NBA at a league level. It’s the NBA’s latest step in its approach to the new sports gambling landscape in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May 2018. The Act restricted and regulated sports betting primarily in the state of Nevada. Since the 2018 ruling, legal sportsbooks have opened in a total of 18 states plus the District of Columbia. There are several other states which are waiting to launch sports betting in their areas. Last month, William Hill USA opened inside the Capital One Arena, complete with betting windows and self-serving kiosks. It is the first ever physical sportsbook to open inside a U.S. sports arena venue.

As for NBABet Stream, it is an experiment for the league this season but according to Kauffman-Ross, the league thinks that this is where the nature of the game broadcasts are headed to. It may be a secondary screen option right now but they are looking at the possibility of integrating watching a game and betting in the near future.

DraftKings Falls 10% After Reporting Larger Than Expected Losses

Baseball Icon, Football Icon, Soccer Icon, Green Money Bag with Dollar Sign

Sports betting company DraftKings fell by as much as 10% during Friday’s trading after it reported a larger-than-expected loss for the second quarter of 2020 and even after its revenues exceeded expectations.

Effect of COVID-19 Shutdown

The Boston-based gambling company posted a loss of $164.1M for the second quarter, or 55 cents per share which is steeper than the $28.11M loss, or 15 cents per share, which it reported for the same period last tear. Analysts polled by Dow Jones pegged the expected loss to be at 20 cents per share.

DraftKings’ losses emerged as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring havoc to sports. Professional and collegiate league schedules have been derailed and games have been suspended as athletes and fans have been forced to stay at home.

Most sporting events were suspended in mid-March, meaning the top professional sports leagues like the NBA, MLB, and NHL were forced into a hiatus during the second quarter of 2020. Recently, NCAA college leagues like the Big 10 and Pac 12 have also announced the cancellation of their respective seasons due to concerns about the coronavirus.

New Offerings

The NBA, MLB, and NHL have since returned and DraftKings says it has seen a revenue boost. But aside from that, the company said that it is focused to deliver new and innovative offerings that will lead to healthier financial figures as sports continues to gradually resume. Said CEO and co-founder Jason Robins:

“In the second quarter, while several major sports leagues including the NBA, MLB and the NHL remained on hiatus due to COVID-19, the Company worked creatively to engage fans with new fantasy sports and betting products for NASCAR, golf, UFC, and European soccer.”

DraftKings also announced its full 2020 outlook, revealing that it expects a pro forma revenue of $500M to $540M, which is an equivalent of 22% to 37% growth for the second half of the year. In its report, the company reported $1.2B in cash and no debt on its second quarter balance sheet.

DraftKings went public last April after it combined with special purpose acquisitions company Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. and gaming technology provider SBTech. The move allowed DraftKings to circumvent the typical processes for initial public offerings.

Salsa Technology Signs NetGaming Content Deal

Slots on a Laptop
Salsa Technology signed an agreement with NetGame Entertainment to integrate the content provider’s titles to its Game Aggregation Platform (GAP). The deal expands Salsa’s gaming portfolio which has added over 30 brand new titles over the last two years.

Integrating NetGame Titles To GAP

GAP already features proprietary titles and 50-third party content providers. With this integration, its customers will even have more. Said Salsa Technology CEO Peter Nolte of the agreement:

“NetGame Entertainment has curated a wonderful selection of casino titles and we cannot wait to welcome these to our GAP. Our leading position in the LatAm market will enable NetGame to expand further into this incredibly exciting region.”

With this new partnership GAP will now carry NetGame Entertainment’s top slot titles like Golden Skulls, African King, Magic Tree, Hit in Vegas, Clover Stones, MMA Legends, Magic Dragon, Diamond Shot and others. These games have some of the industry’s best in-game features like extra spins, progressive jackpots, pick ‘em bonus, win both ways, fortune wheel, tumbling reels, the revolutionary Totalizer feature, and many more.

Expansion By Both Brands

The partnership between Salsa and NetGame Entertainment is seen as an expansion move by both brands. NetGame recently introduced a new online slot called Fruit Burst. It was released in late July and it has a fruity theme with a smooth jazz soundtrack.

In a statement, NetGame Entertainment Hed of Business Technology Andrey Vajdyuk revealed:

“Our partnership with Salsa Technology and their GAP presence is an excellent opportunity to expand NetGame’s presence in the LatAm market which is full of potential. We are pleased to sign a partnership with Salsa and are expecting years of valuable experience and achievements together.”

NetGaming has an engaging portfolio that is available in 26 languages and can be played in over 40 currencies. After focusing mainly on Europe, Africa, and the CIS countries, NetGaming expanded its business to Asia earlier this year.

About Salsa Gaming

On the other hand, Salsa announced a deal with Tom Horn Gaming last May. Under the deal, Salsa’s GAP will now be able to offer top Tom Horn games like 243 Crystal Fruits, Joker Reelz, and many more. Last February, Salsa also engaged in a content deal with Gamshy for the integration of the latter’s nine HTML5 omni-channel games to GAP.

Over the past seven years, Salsa has grown to become the leading force in Latin America iGaming market. It has since expanded globally and just this year, changed its name from Patagonia Entertainment to Salsa as part of its dedication to globalization and innovation in the iGaming industry.