Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

NBA, MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) Announce Breakthrough Sports Betting Partnership

Ladbrokes owner GVC launches US$200m US sports betting venture Ladbrokes owner confirms foray into US market
Cassandra Castillo | 01 August, 2018, 23:07

The venture will establish a separate headquarters to be located in a major USA technology hub, select a leadership team comprised of best-in-class talent from each company and additional new hires, and form a four-person board of directors with equal representation from MGM Resorts and GVC to oversee the venture's ongoing operations and growth.

GVC and New York-listed MGM have agreed to initially pump 100 million U.S. dollars (£76 million) each into the business which will site its headquarters in a "major USA technology hub" and have a board of directors with equal representation from each company.

This partnership comes on the heels of the historic Supreme Court decision in May which could pave the way towards sports betting being legalized in dozens of states across the country.

"This combined with GVC's technology and experience in building online gaming businesses across multiple markets presents a truly exciting opportunity for United States players and our shareholders".

MGM also owns casinos in four other states where sports betting legalization is a strong possibility.

Broadcaster Sky News reported that GVC and MGM Resorts - best known for Las Vegas brands such as the MGM Grand and Bellagio - would each put in an initial $100 million as part of a 50:50 joint venture focused on USA sports betting. The venture will also allow for full integration between the MGM Resorts and GVC loyalty programs, enhancing the user experience and value proposition for existing and future customers.

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The announcement about MGM and GVC joining forces to enter the nascent U.S. betting market comes amid a flurry of major European bookmakers setting foot in the United States for the same goal. In the spirit of this phenomenon, global operators MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings have now announced a joint partnership, under which they will be launching online and land-based sports betting services in up to 15 U.S. states.

The partnership will allow MGM Resorts to use National Basketball Association and WNBA data and branding across land-based and digital sports betting offerings, as well as work together to create a series of integrations across National Basketball Association platforms.

The venture is subject to approval from the relevant regulators.

The partnership has been welcomed by investors, with GVC's share price up 5% today.

Moelis, the investment bank, is advising GVC on the talks, while MGM is using bankers at PJT Partners (Frankfurt: 1PJ.F - news). "Today's announcement highlights the symbiotic partnership between casino gaming companies and sports entities".

GVC and MGM will then expand the partnership to other states which legalise the pastime, with as many as 15 likely to do so in the near future.

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