Support for Sport Betting Infrastructure Continues to Grow in North America

Support for Sport Betting Infrastructure Continues to Grow in North America

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, June 11, 2020 News Commentary

NEW YORK, June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the legal infrastructure becomes more friendly towards sports betting, specifically in the online space, many companies in the gambling industry are investing in offering more sports betting options. According to a report by the Associated Press, companies like DraftKings are making serious strides in developing easy to use systems available to the public through partnerships with sports leagues. For example, The National Basketball Association and DraftKings had announced a multiyear partnership that will make DraftKings an authorized sports betting operator of the league. In addition, it was reported that BetIndiana and Sportradar, the provider of sports data and content, inked a partnership to bring Sportradar's real-time sports data and managed trading services to BetIndiana's mobile sportsbook. These moves did not go unnoticed by investors, as investment firm Morgan Stanley projected back in 2019 that the U.S. market will reach about USD 7 Billion in revenue by 2025, up from USD 833 Million that year. FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE: FANS), Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERI), Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS), DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG), Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN)

Of course, sports betting legalization in the United States is a complex issue. It started with New Jersey, which was the first state to make sports betting legal back in 2018. In total, sports betting is legal in some form in 24 states, according to date provided by ESPN. The big prize is, as usual, California, where sports betting in not officially legal yet. Nevertheless, despite the legal challenges, interest in the industry is high. According to a report by MarketWatch, many have invested money into a new exchange-traded fund that tracks the sports betting and online gambling industries. This represents a "remarkable vote of confidence for a fund that's only a few days old," said Dave Nadig, a longtime industry veteran now at ETF Database. "I am a fan of this fund. If you believe online sports betting is the next big thing, this fund will capture everything from back-office infrastructure to front-facing retail plays."

FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE: FANS) just announced breaking news that it is, "pleased to introduce Mr. Harish Narayanan Ramachandran, an experienced gaming executive as a member of the board. 

Most recently, Harish spent 4 years at PaddyPower Betfair, one of the world's largest gaming companies1, as president of their Asia business. He was tasked with expanding their global operations through B2B partnerships with regulated and state owned operators in Asia, establishing government relationships, and attracting licensed B2C operators. As a specialist in strategic M&A, he structured, advised, and facilitated the global strategy and direction on numerous M&A transactions in the online gaming market.

Prior to this, Harish held senior management positions at EdgeMatrix in Singapore, Com2us Corporation in South Korea, Nokia in APAC, Cryptologic in Asia-Pacific and Paddy Power Betfair in Dublin, Ireland. 

'Mr. Ramachandran brings a wealth of experience to our board of directors having assisted one of the worlds largest betting operations enter and scale their international expansion in Asia,' said Darius Eghdami, Chairman and CEO of FansUnite Entertainment. 'As we look to enter new markets, Mr. Ramachandran brings decades of experience in global market expansion along with extensive knowledge leading strategic mergers and acquisitions that our team will utilize as we prepare for our international growth strategy.'

'As a member of the board, It's an honour to be advising the innovative team where my experience within the global gaming market can be utilized to support FansUnite,' said Harish. 'FansUnite has developed strong betting technology and is quickly gaining global recognition through their recent successful M&A transaction with McBookie. I look forward to providing my knowledge and expertise to assist in the growth of FansUnite.'

Harish will advise the company in various matters, including: international mergers and acquisitions strategy, government relations, and establishing and executing on new market expansion and partnership opportunities."

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Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERI) announced last year that it had completed its previously announced transaction with William Hill PLC (LON: WMH) whereby William Hill US will serve as Eldorado's sports betting operator for a period of 25 years at its properties in jurisdictions where sports betting is legal. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Eldorado received a 20% equity stake in William Hill US as well as 13.4 million ordinary shares of William Hill PLC (LON: WMH). Eldorado also secured the right to monetize its equity in William Hill US in the event William Hill US completes a public offering or through a conversion of the 20% equity stake to William Hill PLC shares or cash at William Hill's discretion after five years. Eldorado Resorts' Chief Executive Officer, Tom Reeg, commented, "Extending our long-term relationship with William Hill partners Eldorado with the world's leading provider of in-casino, mobile and online sports wagering to launch sports wagering across our current platform of 26 properties at such time as legislation is enacted and regulatory approvals are obtained. Based on our long-term experience in Reno, we believe that the addition of sports wagering to our entertainment offerings will drive customer visitation and create a new revenue stream at our properties while enhancing our existing gaming and non-gaming revenue.

Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) announced earlier in March that it had partnered with to offer sports bettors personalized recommendations and tailored betting choices through the OpenMarket™ branch of the OpenSports™ product suite. will offer an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model through OpenSports that enhances the sports betting experience. By providing sports, league, team, event, and market recommendations to bettors in real-time, the companies aim to further personalize sports betting through Scientific Games' OpenMarket solution. OpenMarket is the industry's first one-stop content marketplace, giving Scientific Games' partners access to top-tier sports betting intelligence, data feeds and tools without the need for complex integrations and financial agreements.

DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) is a digital sports entertainment and gaming company created to fuel the competitive spirits of sports fans with products that range across daily fantasy, regulated gaming and digital media. The Company announced this month that it is partnering with Bay Mills Resort & Casino to enter into a new market access deal, subject to the receipt of all applicable licenses and approvals, that will bring the number one-rated mobile sportsbook to sports fans across the state of Michigan. The DraftKings Sportsbook mobile app is currently available in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. "Through a commitment to provide customers with a premier sports betting experience, DraftKings is happy to partner with Bay Mills Resort & Casino," said Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings' Chief Business Officer. "The Great Lakes State presents a number of gaming opportunities and we look forward to collaborating with Bay Mills to provide residents with the best-in-class experience DraftKings is known for."

Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) 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.

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