MGM and GVC Holdings increase BetMGM investment to $450m

Shareholders of MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings have committed to a second round of funding.

The shareholders of Roar Digital, the joint venture between MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings, have committed to a second round of investment in the gambling company, bringing its total funding to $450m.

This comes after the partners’ initial $200m investment in the joint venture, with both operators splitting the ownership of Roar 50-50 in July 2018. According to the statement, both rounds of investment provide the joint venture with more than $370m in investable capital.

GVC chief executive Kenny Alexander described Roar Digital and BetMGM as “the most important and exciting investment that GVC has ever made”.

Alexander added: “We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the company has the funding and technical resources needed to achieve long-term market leadership, whilst delivering significant value for shareholders.”

BetMGM’s US presence

Since the fall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, MGM and GVC have secured entry into several US markets.

The company said that it has secured market access to 19 states which comprise roughly 50% of the US population. At the time of writing, the company currently operates in seven states and is set to launch in four more by the end of the year.

The BetMGM online sports betting platform is currently available in Nevada, New Jersey, West Virginia, Colorado and Indiana.

Adam Greenblatt, CEO of Roar Digital said: “We launched this business to combine the best of MGM Resorts and GVC, and establish BetMGM as a leading brand in the US sports betting and iGaming markets.

“With broad market access secured, our long-term technology foundations now firmly established, and a high performing team in place, this further unequivocal support from our two shareholders will ensure we can achieve leading market positions in this exciting industry that is growing even faster than our initial expectations.”

2020 revenue expectations

Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Greenblatt revealed that BetMGM is expected to generate more than $130, in net revenue for the year.

The majority of this is expected to come from the operator’s online gambling offerings in New Jersey, where Roar has a market share of about 18%.

Greenblatt added: “With the return of sports and our growing operations across the US, we anticipate rapid growth in the coming year.”

The company’s growth will be supported by the resources provided by MGM Resorts, which gives Roar access to regulated US markets and allows for the integration of its M Live Rewards loyalty scheme. The integration of the reward scheme means that online customers can collect rewards while encouraging land-based customer to use the operator’s online platforms.

Roar has also secured exclusive partnerships with the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant chain, and Yahoo Sports. With the Yahoo Sports deal, BetMGM will be able to significantly expand its reach and be granted access to Yahoo’s 64m monthly active users.

Doubling down on technology 

In the announcement, the company highlighted that its offerings are underpinned by GVC’s technology, a dedicated IT team of 2,000 IT specialists, and special features such as rewards, auto cash outs, odds boosts and the ability for customers to build their own bets.

MGM Resorts acting chief executive and president Bill Hornbuckle described its sports betting and online gambling offerings as a “fundamental” aspect of the business operation.

Although the operator touted the strength of its technology, BetMGM recently made headlines after a customer reportedly won approximately $137,000 on a 10-team baseball parlay in June.

According to ESPN.com, which first reported the story, the customer’s parlay wager included several baseball games in the KBO League and Chinese Professional Baseball League. ESPN’s report said that the bettor exploited a software error that allowed him to include several games that were already in progress when he placed the bet on a self-service kiosk at The Bellagio.

This matter is currently being investigated by Nevada’s gambling regulator.

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