BetMGM and Yahoo Sports Partnership Continues To Expand

Person Browsing a Sports Betting Site on a Tablet
The sports wagering partnership between the MGM-GVC venture BetMGM and the Verizon-owned Yahoo Sports continues to flourish as the U.S. sports betting industry continues to grow.

Said Yahoo Sports general manager Geoff Reiss in an interview last week:

“What Yahoo brings to the partnership is the largest base of the most qualified, predisposed, and passionate sports fans. We have the ability to provide frictionless and seamless integrations between the products.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the original roll-out plan, the integration between these two giant companies has been seamless and both companies continue to come up with fresh ideas and new features.

New Features

The newest features include fantasy sports users in eligible stats being able to access player prop odds on the player card and players’ tab within several locations. Users are then able to place corresponding bets on BetMGM’s platform. Aside from that, BetMGM has also leveraged Yahoo’s fantasy scoring system by coming up with prop bets based on fantasy point totals.

For now U.S. sports betting enthusiasts in New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, Colorado, and Tennessee are able to use their Yahoo accounts to register and sign-in to their BetMGM accounts. After registering to their BetMGM accounts, these Yahoo Sports users can then make wagers via BetMGM without having to download the BetMGM App.

Exclusive Partnership

In October 2019, Yahoo Sports and BetMGM announced an exclusive U.S. sportsbetting partnership that was geared towards creating collaborative content experiences and live events for fans. At that time, BetMGM was active in only two states. But with Yahoo Sports’ over 60 million monthly users, the partnership was bound to be mutually beneficial for both parties. Today, BetMGM is live in seven states with still many in the pipeline.

With U.S. sports betting now legal and active in 19 states and Washington D.C. plus another six states expected to launch in 2021, the sports betting industry is at an all-time high in the United States and the Yahoo Sports-BetMGM partnership is capitalizing on the rapid development.

BetMGM Expanding

BetMGM has been expanding its business this year. It recently got a license to offer online casino and sports betting products in Pennsylvania with its casino gaming in the Keystone State expected to launch this month. BetMGM officials are hopeful that sportsbetting will follow.

The company also has marketing partnerships with the NFL teams Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos. Reiss sees these partnerships as part of the “fluid nature” of the growth of U.S. sports betting.

Danville Casino Will Be Branded As Golden Nugget

Casino Roulette Table

The Danville casino currently being constructed will carry a national brand when it opens .

In an announcement made last Friday, the Developers of the Danville casino project said that Wilmot Gaming Illinois has entered into a joint venture with Tillman Ferttita’s Golden Nugget to build and operate a casino in Danville, Illinois pending regulatory approvals. The casino will be branded as Golden Nugget and feature a Landry’s Steakhouse.

Said Wilmot Gaming vice president James A. Wilmot on the deal:

“Wilmot is pleased to deliver Golden Nugget and GNOG to the City of Danville and is excited to partner with Tilman J. Fertitta. The Golden Nugget is a nationally recognized brand and strengthens the submission, provides additional opportunities, and upgrades the overall project. The Wilmot family would also like to personally acknowledge the efforts and support of the City Council and Mayor of Danville, IL; without their diligence and attention to detail this project would not be possible.”

Market Access

Under the definitive agreement, Golden Nugget is given exclusive right to offer online sports betting and if granted approval, Illinois online casino games. The deal also stipulates that Golden Nugget will provide a mezzanine loan of $30M to Danville Development for the construction and development of the Danville casino.

The market access agreement is valid for a term of 20 years. It has a provision that requires Golden Nugget to pay Danville Development a percentage of its online sports betting and Illinois online casino revenues, subject to minimum royalty payments over the term.

Golden Nugget Expansion

Wilmot Gaming Illinois is a subsidiary of the New York-based Wilmorite Management Group. Earlier this year, the company was chosen as the preferred developer of the proposed casino in Danville. The Danville casino project was one of the six approved casinos in 2019 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The Illinois casino and sports betting project is an important part of Golden Nugget’s expansion strategy. Golden Nugget became one of the latest U.S. digital gambling company to announce a SPAC merger to grow its business. It is set to merge with special purpose acquisition company Lancadia Holdings II and go public on NASDAQ to avoid the more complex IPO route.

About Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget LLC is wholly owned by Tillman Fertitta through subsidiaries and affiliate companies. It operates five Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino properties in Las Vegas, Laughlin, Atlantic City, Biloxi, and Lake Charles. Landry’s is a subsidiary of Golden Nugget and operates high-end and casual dining properties nationwide.

On the other hand, Wilmorite’s casino development portfolio include First Council Casino in Oklahoma, Harrah’s Northern California, and Del Lago Casino, New York.

William Hill Shareholders Approve Caesars Entertainment Takeover

Odds Board and MoneyCaesars Entertainment’s proposed takeover of William Hill has been approved by the latter’s shareholders, paving the way for the “historic acquisition” to be completed next year.

In a virtual vote held on Thursday, over 86% of William Hill shareholders accepted Caesar Entertainment’s $3.7B bid for the U.K. bookmaker, subject to the approval of the English court. The number was easily more than the 75% needed to consummate the deal.

Both parties are said to be making progress towards securing all the necessary regulatory requirements needed to close the transaction. According to Caesars, they are expecting to conclude the deal by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

Said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg:

“We are pleased to have received William Hill shareholder support for our recommended cash offer. We will continue to work towards satisfying the remaining regulatory conditions and look forward to completing the transaction next year and integrating William Hill US into our Caesars sports betting and iGaming franchise.”

Focus on US Assets

Caesars Entertainment has made it clear that its focus is on William Hill’s U.S. bookmaking business which consists of 170 retail shops in 13 different states. The owners of Caesars Entertainment added that they intend to sell the U.K. bookmaker’s non-US operations, including 1,400 U.K. betting shops.

Last week, GVC Holdings CEO Shay Segov said via Bloomberg that his company is interested in making a bid for William Hill’s UK and European assets. Also reportedly interested in bidding for William Hill’s non-US assets is Apollo Management Corporation which previously backed out of a bidding war with Caesars Entertainment for the entire William Hill business. Apollo is said to be particularly interested in William Hill’s UK business. William Hill’s online revenue in the UK is twice as large as its overseas online income.

Monumental Acquisition

Last September, Caesars Entertainment agreed to a monumental acquisition of the British-based gambling company. The move was aimed at the expansion of its share in the U.S. sports betting industry which has exponentially grown since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Caesars Entertainment currently owns 20% of William Hill’s U.S. operations. Under the current partnership, William Hill  has the exclusive right to operate sports betting under the Caesars brand. Caesars believes that merging the assets of both companies represents a compelling opportunity to improve the offering and experience for their customers.

FanDuel Announces Multi-Milion Dollar Investment in Fairmount Park

Image of Horse Racers and Sportsbook Background
FanDuel Group, one of the top gaming companies in the United States, announced on Monday a partnership with Collinsville’s Fairmount Park.

Under the agreement, Fairmount Park will be rebranded and renamed as FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing. In exchange, FanDuel will make a multi-million dollar investment to revitalize the venue while opening a retail FanDuel sportsbook in the property. Fairmount Park’s signature race, the $250,000 St. Louis Derby, will also be revived by FanDuel and TVG. The race has not been held since 20006 due to financial constraints.

Said Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of the FanDuel Group:

“We are delighted to partner with Fairmount Park to continue bringing high quality horse racing and soon additional entertainment experiences via our sportsbook to the region.Fairmount is an iconic state landmark which we plan to modernize bringing innovative technology and entertainment offerings only FanDuel can deliver.”

The Only Active Horse Racing Venue Outside Metro Chicago

Fairmount Park is one of the three active horse racing venues in Illinois and the only one outside of the Chicago metro area. The one-mile dirt oval track opened in 1925 and was the home of the St. Louis Derby which was last run in 2006. It has been approved to host a total of 53 live racing days in 2021 along with daily simulcast wagering on tracks throughout the country.

The Collinsville, Illinois track also has a pending application for a casino license. Last month, it was given a “preliminary suitable” status to add casino games. If its Racino license is approved, an investment of $50M is expected to be shelled out so that Fairmount Park can offer up to a combined 900 slot machines and table games.

No Stranger To Horse Racing

While the Fairmount Park deal is its first investment in a race track, FanDuel is no stranger to horse racing. Through the TVG brand, it broadcasts 60,000 horse races from more than 150 track via its two channels TVG and TVG2. TVG also simulcasts major horse racing events during the year with its resource-sharing pact with NBC Sports, NBC SN, and NBC regional sports networks.

It is also a major sponsor of marquee horse racing events like the Breeders Cup World Championships, TVG Pacific Classic, Haskill Invitational, and other races at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington. It has also made an impact by introducing the FanDuel Horseracing Product and daily fantasy contests to marquee events. It recently launched and advanced deposit wagering (ADW) platform designed for novice racing fans.

Legal Atlantic City Sports Betting Sets Records As Casinos Continue To Struggle

Atlantic City Casinos
Atlantic City’s sports betting and online gambling numbers continue to make up for the decline in the revenue of the city’s nine brick and mortar casinos.

Atlantic City casinos reported a year over year decrease of 8% in Gaming wins for the month of October. However, online gaming revenue increased by more than 106% last month, contributing a total of $93.45M to the total monthly revenue of the industry. The total gaming revenue for the month of October, per the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, was $304M.

Atlantic City Casino Control Commission chairman James Plousis gave credit to the gambling industry’s October 2020 performance during these difficult times. Said Plousis:

“During this time, Atlantic City continues to show resilience in the face of necessary and ongoing restrictions on capacity, amenities and entertainment.”

Impact of the Pandemic

The decrease in the revenue from table games and slot machines shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Atlantic City casinos. These brick and mortar gambling places were forced to close for 107 days beginning March 16th. They were allowed to reopen in early July but the capacity limitations, travel restrictions, and national recession have resulted in the decline of casino win in every month.

Atlantic City casinos reported $186.1M in casino win for October 2020. That amount is short of at least $16M from the total for October 2019. Of the nine Atlantic City casinos, only the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort, reported an increase in casino win for October 2020.

Through the first 10 months of 2020, the total gaming revenue and casino win have decreased by 23% and 46% respectively, compared to the same period last year. With two months left in the year, it’s unlikely that this year’s revenue will match 2019’s high of $3.29B in total casino industry gaming revenue.

Sports Betting Sets Records

While Atlantic City casino revenues continue to struggle, AC’s sports betting industry continues to set records. Sports gamblers wagered a record $803M during the month of October. These included bets placed at brick and mortar casinos, Atlantic City online gambling sites, and the city’s three racetracks.

Legal Atlantic City sports betting benefited from the MLB’s World Series and the NBA Finals which were both held last month. Likewise, the the NFL and NCAA college football started their respective seasons in October. As a result, October’s monthly handle easily bested the previous record of $748.6M set in September 2020.

New Jersey’s sportsbooks have taken nearly $4.1B in legal sports bets on a year to date basis. This has put the Atlantic City sports betting market on pace to break Nevada’s single-year record of $5.3M in sports wagers made .

JCM Global and Churchill Downs Expand Partnership at Newport Racing

Image of Horse Racers and Sportsbook Background
Churchill Downs Incorporated further strengthened its partnership with JCM Global by giving its newest parimutuel gaming entertainment venue, the Newport Racing & Gaming, the same systems that were installed by the latter at Oak Grove Racing earlier this month.

Said CDI Sr. Director Slot Strategy and Performance Duncan McConnell:

“Guests at Newport Racing & Gaming can now experience the same wagering transactions they have come to expect at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel through this expanded partnership with JCM.”

Same As Oak Grove

Just last week, Churchill Downs Incorporated selected JCM as the exclusive gaming transactions solutions provider for its newly opened Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, & Hotel in Oak Grove, Kentucky.

Under that agreement, each of the 1,325 Historical Racing Machines at Oak Grove Racing was equipped with JCM’s award-winning iVIZION bill validator, GEN5 thermal printer, and Intelligent Cash Box (ICB) system. These systems from JCB Global have proven to save casino operators hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Now, all these have been installed at Newport Racing as well.

Security, Accountability, & Efficiency

The iVIZION is a powerful system that reads more than 9.5 data points on each note. Its combination of optical sensors and mechanical security give gaming operators protection against cheats and counterfeiters. On the other hand, GEN5 has a very fast CPU and print speed. It also has the capability to print TITO, promotional tickets, wager tickets, and coupon promo templates.

The ICB is a management system that increases efficiency and eliminates human error on the part of the operator. For gaming customers, it gives them the ability to access important information securely, anytime and anywhere. The combination of the above mentioned solutions systems gives CDI’s gaming venues added value in security, accountability, and efficiency while also providing its customers unmatched gaming experience.

About JCM and Newport Racing

JCM Global is the leader in the creation of innovative automated transactions solutions for various industries like banking, financial, gaming, kiosk, retail, transportation, vending, other specialty industries, and other businesses that require speed, security, and accuracy in their day to day operations.

Newport Racing & Gaming is a $34.8M facility at the Newport Shopping Center in Northern Kentucky. It was developed by Churchill Downs Inc to create a Las Vegas-like atmosphere in the area. The 17,000 foot gaming area used to be a Chinese restaurant which CDI renovated last May.

Penn Gaming Launches First Retail Barstool Sportsbook in U.S.

Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming has launched its first ever Barstool Sports-branded retail sportsbook in the United States. The sports betting shop opened on November 5, 2020 at PNG’s Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk in Pennsylvania.

Situated at the second floor of the Pennsylvania casino, the retail sportsbook features sports betting kiosks and ticket-writing stations. It is equipped with a video wall and odds boards that allow customers to watch sports events and get up-to-date betting odds.

Saind PNG president and chief executive officer Jay Snowden:

“This will be the first of many new retail locations for Barstool Sportsbooks at our casinos nationwide. Each will incorporate several features that reflect the spirit of the Barstool Sports brand, resulting in unique sports betting experiences that we expect our customers will thoroughly enjoy.”

Record Earnings in Q3

The full opening of the retail sportsbook at the Pennsylvania casino comes after a series of testing that began last September. PNG is also planning to put up Barstool Sportsbooks in other states across the United States.

It also comes after PNG reported record earnings for the third quarter of 2020. Although the revenue declined by 16.6% versus the previous year, it was a huge improvement from the figures of the second quarter of 2020 which saw a decline of 76.9% to $305.5M versus 2019.

Penn National Gaming reported a total revenue of $1.13B in Q3 with net profit for the period amounting to $141.2M which was 223.1% better. $993.6M of the revenue came from gaming including a $29M wagered on the Barstool Sports app during the month of September. The Pennsylvania sports betting market as a whole brought in $6.3M in September.

Exclusive Partnership

Last January, Penn National Gaming entered into an exclusive sports betting and online casino partnership with Barstool Sports. The deal included PNG acquiring a 36% stake in the digital sports media company. That stake was worth $163M and and it made PNG as the exclusive gaming partner of Barstool Sports for up to 40 years.

PNG has the option to bring in another partner to buy a portion of its shares in Barstool. In addition, Penn National was given customary governance rights including two seats at Barstool Sports’ current seven-man board.

The agreement also gave PNG the sole rights to use the Barstool brand for all its online and retail sports betting and online casino products. PNG started by taking over the brick and mortar sportsbooks and started developing a mobile product in cooperation with Kambi.

Legal Sports Betting Gets Approval in Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota

Sports Betting Graphic and Man Holding Fan of Money
Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota moved one step closer to joining the legal sports betting market in the United States after voters said yes during Tuesday’s elections.

As part of the 2020 USA Elections, prop measures to legalize sports betting were on the ballots of Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota. All three states voted favorably to allow legal sports betting in their jurisdiction. However, the regulatory frameworks on how sports betting will be conducted will still have to be formulated and that will take a while.

A Landslide in Three States

Louisiana residents voted on the prop by each individual parish. The results were in favor of the legalization of sports betting with 55 out of 64 parishes voting in the affirmative. The vote was expected because Louisiana’s neighbors Mississippi and Arkansas have legalized sports betting in 2018 and 2019, respectively. With Texas still not permitting legal sports betting, Louisiana can now take away some of the market.

In Maryland, the voting was done statewide and the vote was an overwhelming YES from all 24 districts of Maryland. The outcome of the vote should be good news for The Washington Football Team who are staying in Maryland. Team owner Dan Snyder has publicly stated that he wants to offer sports betting in the new NFL stadium that he is planning to build.

,Out in South Dakota, the voting was focused to the city limits of Deadwood only and the tribal casinos. As was with the case of Maryland, the vote was strongly for the YES with the prop passed by a 216,673 to 153,611 margin. That means that sports fans visiting Deadwood will soon be able to bet on sports at casinos like the Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Complex and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort.

U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Decision

The landscape of United States sports betting has changed drastically since the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to repeal the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law stood for 26 years and limited sports betting primarily to the state of Nevada.

Since the ruling, legal sports betting has operated in 19 states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington have recently passed legislation to legalize sports betting and are gearing up to launch their respective sports betting markets.

On the other hand, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, and Vermont have active bills that are pending legislative approval. Once Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota get up and running, more than half of the states in the U.S. will have legal sports betting.

Memphis Grizzlies Enter Into Sports Betting Partnership With FanDuel

Odds Board and Money
With sports betting now legal in Tennessee, the Memphis Grizzlies were quick to capitalize by signing its first ever sports betting deal with US online sportsbook FanDuel. On the other side of the fence, the Grizzlies are also the first NBA team that FanDuel has partnered with.

Said FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffenspberger:

“As we expand our market-leading sportsbook into Tennessee, partnering with the Grizzlies was a no-brainer given the team’s popularity and long-standing success, as well as their shared mindset of being absurdly fan-focused. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with the Grizzlies as we bring unique promotions, product innovation, and engaging online experiences to Grizzlies fans and Tennessee sports fans alike.”

For their part, the Grizzlies made a statement via President Jason Wexler:

“We are thrilled to have FanDuel as our first sports betting marketing partner and as our exclusive daily fantasy partner. Grizzlies fans are among the most passionate in the NBA, and we are looking forward to helping them find new ways to access their sports fandom. FanDuel has been an excellent partner in building a program that will showcase why they are one of the best sportsbooks for Grizzlies fans.”

Multi-Year Agreement

Under the multi-year agreement, FanDuel will get the permission to use official Grizzlies marks and logos from them to use across FanDuel’s online sports offerings and daily fantasy products. Meanwhile, FanDuel’s logo will be part of the Grizzlies’ marketing assets including the in-arena signage at the FedEx Forum. Likewise, FanDuel will be able to promote its sports betting offerings to fans directly via the Grizzlies’ radio, TV, and digital marketing platforms.

FanDuel will also present the Grizzlies’ home and away television broadcast with multiple integrations to improve the experience for the fans who choose to watch the game on television in the comfort of their homes. In addition, the Grizzlies and FanDuel plan to offer several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to FanDuels clients.

Tennessee Legal Sports Betting Goes Live

The announcement comes a day after legal Tennessee sports betting went live. Sports betting was legalized in the Volunteer state in the spring of 2019. The law took effect last November 1st without the signature of Governor Bill Lee who at that time did not believe that legal Tennessee sports betting would be of the best interest of the state.

After several months of ironing out the policies, online sports betting is now live in Tennessee. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation has so far approved four online sportsbooks to operate in the state. These are DraftKings, BetMGM, Action247, and FanDuel. Only online sports betting is currently legal in Tennessee and brick and mortar sports betting shops are not allowed.

Fairmount Park Gets Approval For Illinois Sports Betting License

Odds Board and Money
Fairmount Park’s applications for an Illinois sports betting license was approved 4-0 by the Illinois Gaming Board during a special meeting held on Thursday morning. During the meeting, Fairmount Park was also given “preliminary suitable” status to accept casino games.

With its approval, Fairmount Park becomes the 9th applicant granted a Master Sports Wagering License by the Illinois Gaming Board since June. The approved license is valid for four years. Fairmount Park’s sports betting provider will be FanDuel and it applied for the license as FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

First Sportsbook at Multiple Retail Venues

FanDuel has been live in Lincoln State since since August 28th when it launched its sports betting app through a partnership with Boyd Gaming’s Par-A-Dice-Casino in East Peoria. That consortium started accepting legal Illinois sports betting transactions last September 10th.

But while FanDuel is the first Illinois sports betting company to operate in multiple venues, it won’t be the last. PointsBet, who has a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, is planning to open three Chicago suburban off-track betting sites in the near future while DraftKings, a partner of Casino Queen, is expected to open a sportsbook at Wrigley Field in partnership with the Chicago Cubs.

Gaming Expansion Bill

Horse racing tracks were allowed to apply for casino and sports betting licenses as part of the gaming expansion bill signed into a law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June 2019. FanDuel had been in talks with Fairmount as early as February as a workaround to the 18-month waiting period from the issuance of the first sports betting license to when the Illinois Gaming Board can accept an online-only application.

With its approval, Fairmount Park thus joins Hawthorne Race Course as the only race tracks in the state permitted to conduct sports betting activities and given “preliminary suitable” status to add casino games. Arlington International Racecourse, the third race track in the state, did not apply for an Illinois sports betting or a racino license.

If its Racino application is approved, Fairmount Park stands to offer up to 900 gaming positions at slot machines and table games. The total cost of the expansion has been estimated at $50M. There is no timetable yet for the expansion as it is dependent on how fast the approval process goes.