Gradual Re-Introduction of Professional Sports is a Boon for the Betting Industry

Gradual Re-Introduction of Professional Sports is a Boon for the Betting Industry

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2020

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Casinos and gambling have been large markets for many years, but sports betting has a been a slow growing segment; until recently. The slow growth of sports betting in years past is, in large part, attributable to numerous legal restrictions across most states as well as a lack of access due to insufficient technological infrastructure. Now, the sports betting market is changing and growing rapidly. For example, after an agreement between Caesars Entertainment and Disney-owned ESPN, which made Caesars, through its sports betting partner, William Hill, a co-exclusive partner for gambling link-outs from ESPN, Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg expressed a positive outlook for the market. "We think there's a lot of money to be made here over time, and we're seeing a lot of interest from non-gaming operators… We have not seen a growth opportunity in this space in quite some time, so it's an adjustment for analysts to look at a hyper-growth piece of a business that has been mature… We're in the very early stages of legalization of sports betting," Tom Reeg explained according to CNBC. FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (OTC: FUNFF) (CSE: FANS), Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN), DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG)

As the legal system slowly becomes more friendly towards online sports betting, states around the country look towards the young and growing industry to raise tax revenue. Recently, the advancement of sports betting in Illinois took place, vastly expanding the mobile wagering options available to the state's 12.7 million residents. Furthermore, data from Odds.com and published by Forbes showed that Illinois is poised to generate upwards of USD 73 Million in taxable revenue if the estimates of a USD 488 Million annual market come to fruition. The 15% tax levied on gaming revenue could see this number rapidly increase once measures to allow online and mobile offerings are put in place.

FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (OTC: FUNFF) (CSE: FANS) announced earlier last week that, "McBookie Ltd ("McBookie") has continued its impressive performance since becoming part of FansUnite.

The Scottish based operator increased its overall year-over-year ("YOY") turnover for the months of July and August by 108% - from $3M CAD to $6.3M CAD, with 78% of the turnover growth led by the return of sport.

The increase resulted in a YOY increase in Gross Gaming Revenue over the same period of 412%, resulting in gross gaming revenue of $371K for July and August 2020 and a gross margin of $161K. During the same period last year the platform generated $72K in gross gaming revenue resulting in a gross margin loss of $66K.

With the strong results over the last two months, McBookie is preparing to continue the positive trend with the return of the English Premier League and the other major European leagues in the coming weeks.

'We are very pleased that McBookie has been able to continue its strong 2020 performance despite the slowdown in sports betting from the global pandemic,' said Scott Burton, CEO of FansUnite. 'The figures for the past 60 days have been exceptional and continue to validate our belief in this leading B2C betting brand and the management team behind it. For the duration of 2020, major European leagues are set to begin again and present a great opportunity for McBookie to capture the attention of new and existing customers. We will work directly with McBookie in ensuring their presence in the U.K. expands and they are in a position to service this growing user base of bettors.'

'The team at FansUnite has worked very hard to improve all aspects of our business since joining FansUnite and it is great to see that replicated in the numbers,' said Paul Petrie, founder and Director of McBookie. 'With just one month to wait until the whole of Scottish football is back, having the resources and expertise of FansUnite helps puts us in an excellent position to continue building on our recent success.'

While the return of sport has provided an uptick in betting volume, casino turnover during the two-month period was strong as well with $3.1M wagered. McBookie will be looking to build on these numbers with the recent launch of a Live Casino product earlier this month.

'After launching a successful Virtual Sports betting offering in March, we decided to expand our platform with the addition of a Live Casino,' continued Paul Petrie. 'It represents another betting alternative for our loyal customers and helps us diversify our revenue stream.'"

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring FansUnite Entertainment Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkSk3GQD6GI

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) announced this week that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with ESPN. The new deal includes link integrations from ESPN's digital platforms to sportsbooks from Caesars Entertainment's sports betting partner, William Hill. William Hill Sports Book's odds and markets connect directly to their sports betting apps in legalized states. The deal comes shortly after William Hill became the exclusive sports betting operator for Caesars Entertainment, following the merger with Eldorado Resorts. Link integrations to William Hill's sports betting apps, geo-targeted to legalized sports betting states, will appear on ESPN.com web and mobile web and the ESPN Fantasy app. As part of the new agreement, Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill will also become a sponsor of ESPN's Fantasy products, deepening an existing relationship as ESPN's exclusive odds provider.

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and BetMGM, the joint venture between MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings reported this week that they would partner with the American Gaming Association in support of Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW), September 14-19, and join in its mission – Have A Game Plan™ – to educate new consumers and seasoned bettors on responsible wagering. As part of its commitment, BetMGM announces today the hiring of Richard Taylor to the position of Responsible Gambling Program Manager. As MGM Resorts and BetMGM continue to expand and evolve its sports betting and other gaming platforms, responsible gaming education remains a key focus. GameSense is an industry-leading program, developed and licensed to MGM Resorts by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), focusing on positive, transparent and proactive conversations with players about how to gamble responsibly.

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.

DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) announced this week a multi-year agreement with ESPN to become a co-exclusive sportsbook link-out provider and exclusive daily fantasy sports provider of the media giant. Links across ESPN digital platforms will connect fans to DraftKings' products and services. "ESPN helped revolutionize the 24/7 sports news cycle and continues to be the go-to source for many fans today on the latest and largest sports stories," said Jason Robins, Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DraftKings. "We look forward to this collaboration to exclusively showcase DraftKings' daily fantasy content and offerings while also advancing further visibility and mainstream adoption of our regulated sports betting products." Under the agreement, DraftKings will now be able to integrate its products and offerings across ESPN's digital platforms. DraftKings will also power existing and future ESPN studio shows with dedicated segments for promotion, beginning with daily fantasy sports.

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