More and more states are launching online betting businesses as the legal infrastructure and public opinion have turned in favor of such services. This year, nineteen states will decide whether to legalize sports betting services this year, either through voter referendums or state legislature statutes. According to a report by CNBC, if all nineteen states vote yes, that will more than double the number of states where sports betting is already legal. “This is a big year,” said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins in an interview. “We’ve got about 20 states set to vote on legalization. What percentage of those decide yes – that’ll swing things either in a positive or negative direction for us.” Last year, three states had measures on the ballot to legalize sports betting: Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota. All voted yes.
As the legal infrastructure becomes more and more friendly towards sports betting across the country, announcements regarding investments in this sector have accelerated. For example, earlier in October, WynnBET, the digital gaming division of Wynn Resorts Ltd. that is responsible for Wynn’s mobile sportsbook and casino app, announced a multi-year national sports betting partnership. As an Authorized Gaming Operator of NASCAR, WynnBET will collaborate with NASCAR to create and promote engaging sports betting experiences for racing fans across the United States.
Bragg Gaming Group Inc. announced last week that, “the Company has strengthened its foothold in Spain, launching its award-winning portfolio of ORYX Gaming content with Casumo.
Casumo is the second operator in Spain to launch ORYX’s unique and exclusive RGS content to its customers. The content will include titles already extremely popular within Spain’s land-based sector, such as GAMOMAT’s Red Hot Firepot, La Dolce Vita, and Books & Bulls. Casumo was granted an online licence in Spain in July of 2020.
Since its inception in 2012, Casumo has grown into one of the most distinctive, innovative online casino brands and Sportsbook operators in Europe. Casumo created the world’s first casino adventure by combining the worlds of social and real money gaming, where players collect both wins and points for every round they play. Casumo has more than 300 employees located in Malta, Gibraltar, London, Copenhagen and Spain, and is available to players in many global jurisdictions, including the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, Spain and Canada. Casumo holds licenses in Malta and the UK.
Spain is the latest in a number of major jurisdictions where ORYX has been certified and has launched. The Spanish online gaming market has seen strong growth since it opened in 2011, and the online casino sector now represents nearly 40 per cent of market gross gaming revenue.
‘Expansion into new markets is a significant pillar in our strategic plan, so we are thrilled to strengthen our Spanish presence with Casumo,’ said Matevz Mazij, Managing Director of ORYX Gaming. ‘Casumo is the perfect partner for us as they have quickly established themself as a fun and entertaining casino brand, and we look forward to working together to further enhance their offering. This partnership will also open the door to further partnerships in Spain, as we see great potential in this market going forward.'”
Wynn Resorts, Limited designs, develops, and operates integrated resorts. The company’s Wynn Palace segment operates 424,000 sq. ft. of casino space with 323 table games, 1,011 slot machines, private gaming salons, and sky casinos. In recent years the Company also partnered with sports betting operators. For example, earlier in 2018, Wynn announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with BetBull Limited (“BetBull”), a Europe-based digital sports betting operator, to pursue sports betting opportunities in the emerging U.S. market. The strategic partnership will position both parties to capitalize on the developing U.S. opportunity by combining Wynn Resort’s nationally recognized brand with BetBull’s digital sports betting operations capabilities and technology. In conjunction with the formation of the strategic partnership, Wynn Resorts will make a minority equity investment in BetBull. Wynn Resorts will own 22.5% of BetBull on a fully-diluted basis upon closing of the investment which will occur in due course subject to customary closing conditions. Moelis & Company LLC acted as financial advisor to Wynn Resorts.
Bally’s Corporation reported earlier this year that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Monkey Knife Fight, the award-winning, fastest-growing gaming platform and third-largest daily fantasy sports (“DFS”) operator in North America. The all-stock transaction makes Bally’s just the third sports betting company in the U.S. to have a fantasy sports segment. In 2020, MKF, which offers its loyal users a dynamic and creative slate of daily sports and e-sports contests, was ranked by SponsorUnited as the sixth most-searched and tenth fastest-growing brand in sports and entertainment. “With this acquisition, we are pleased to enter into the high-growth DFS market. Monkey Knife Fight is a unique asset that we look forward to incorporating into Bally’s constantly growing omnichannel portfolio of land-based casinos and iGaming platforms,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation. “As with all of the properties and services that fall under the iconic Bally’s brand, we are committed to providing a best-in-class DFS platform to sports fans around the country.”
Skillz Inc. reported earlier this year that it is teaming up with the National Football League (NFL). As part of the agreement, the two sports organizations will host a global game developer challenge. Competing developers will have the opportunity to develop an NFL-themed mobile game. The game will be powered by the Skillz esports platform and will have joint marketing support from both the NFL and Skillz. The combination of the NFL brand and the Skillz platform will set the stage for the future of electronic sports competition. “The NFL is an iconic brand that is synonymous with American sports, and Skillz is thrilled to help power their esports competitions on mobile,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz.
Allied Esports Entertainment Inc. and Element Partners, LLC (“Element”), a privately-held investment vehicle, announced earlier this year a definitive agreement under which Element will acquire the Company’s poker-related business and assets, including the entities comprising the World Poker Tour® (“World Poker Tour,” or “WPT®”). Under the terms of the agreement, Element will acquire World Poker Tour for a total of USD 78,250,000, consisting of a USD 68,250,000 upfront payment and a fully guaranteed revenue share of 5% of WPT-branded tournament entry fees on Element-owned or licensed gaming platforms, up to a maximum of USD 10 Million, payable over three years after closing. The Company’s Board of Directors has approved the transaction, which is expected to close in late January or early February 2021, assuming the Company’s shareholders approve the transaction and following required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.