NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more states are launching online betting businesses as the legal infrastructure and public opinion have turned in favor of such services. Next year, major markets such as Michigan will join numerous others as online sports betting becomes legal. However, all operators and platform providers, including popular ones like DraftKings and FanDuel, must still earn final licensing approval from the state before launching services. To illustrate just how popular the online sports betting is in states where the market can already operate, New Jersey recorded USD 803.1 Million in bets on sports in the month of October, setting the national record for the third month in a row, according to the state's Division of Gambling Enforcement. Furthermore, according to a report by Mlive, Michigan's commercial casinos also lost millions when they were forced to close from March 16th through Aug. 5th, before reopening at 15% capacity. As such, launching online wagering could provide an immediate boost for casinos. FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (OTC: FUNFF) (CSE: FANS), Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN), Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN), DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG), Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD).
This year's election also further reinforces the industry. Three states had measures on the ballot to legalize sports betting: Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota. All voted yes. Overall, there are now 19 states as well as Washington D.C. where sports betting services are currently operational, according to the American Gaming Association. Besides the election results, another factor most significant to the boost of the sports betting segment is attributed to the usage of smartphones, which have easy user interfaces and can be used at anytime and anywhere. 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 makes DraftKings an authorized sports betting operator of the league.
FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (OTC: FUNFF) (CSE: FANS) announced last week that, "its partner, GameCo LLC ("GameCo"), a Las Vegas based pioneer in Video Game Gambling™, has entered into a partnership with US Bookmaking and Sky Ute Casino to establish the first dedicated esports sportsbook in the United States. Wholly owned subsidiary Askott Entertainment will supply its iGaming platform, Chameleon, as part of a fully integrated esports betting solution.
Through GameCo's partnership with Sky Ute Casino and US Bookmaking, FansUnite will be the first iGaming solutions provider to receive significant exposure in the U.S. esports betting market.
As previously announced on September 2nd, 2020, FansUnite entered into a partnership with GameCo to establish a fully integrated turnkey esports betting solution for online casinos and sportsbooks in the United States. Under the agreement with GameCo and Sky Ute Casino, Askott Entertainment's Chameleon iGaming Platform will form the basis of GameCo's esports betting offering alongside GRID's data platform and 10Star's odds feed and risk management services, resulting in an esports sportsbook with extensive and broad-ranging services that are geared towards the younger demographic of online gamblers.
"We are delighted to be part of the first-ever real money esports sportsbook in the U.S. as it represents a major milestone for FansUnite and the entire betting community globally," said Scott Burton, CEO of FansUnite Entertainment. "Entering the U.S. market has always been part of our growth roadmap and partnering with GameCo in September represented a channel for us to introduce our leading B2B esports betting solution to a sizable and growing market. This latest customer win has exceeded our own expectations and validates our technology, strategy, and legitimacy of our organization. With our first casino customer now in hand, we are eager to continue our collaboration with GameCo, GRID, and 10 Star to establish a larger presence in the U.S. market."
Blaine Graboyes, Co-Founder and CEO of GameCo added, "This marks a new era for GameCo as we will be the frontrunners in capturing revenue from an untouched segment in the U.S. online casino market. We require the most innovative technology that will provide a strong backbone for our betting systems and we are pleased that FansUnite is able to fulfill that need with the Chameleon iGaming solutions."
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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.
Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) announced last month that it expects to open its first retail-branded Barstool Sportsbook at Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk, subject to any final regulatory approvals. "We are very excited to be opening the first Barstool Sportsbook in the country at Ameristar Black Hawk," said Jay Snowden, President and CEO of Penn National Gaming. "This will be the first of many new retail locations for Barstool Sportsbooks at our casinos nationwide. Each will incorporate several features that reflect the spirit of the Barstool Sports brand, resulting in unique sports betting experiences that we expect our customers will thoroughly enjoy." Penn National will offer a state-of-the-art sports betting experience at Ameristar Black Hawk, including sports betting kiosks and ticket writer stations that will support thousands of sports betting options for its customers.
DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) announced earlier this month a new deal, making the sports technology and entertainment company the exclusive Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner, as well as an Official Sports Betting and iGaming Partner of the NBA team. In addition to access to Pistons trademarks and logos, the deal includes DraftKings-branded courtside LED signage and in-game basket pad branding. The agreement comes as DraftKings prepares to launch mobile sports betting and online gaming in the state of Michigan, pending licensure and the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. "As our first professional team activation in the state of Michigan, we are thrilled to join forces with the Detroit Pistons ahead of our pending market introduction," said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer, DraftKings. "This deal deepens our relationship with a prominent local team to facilitate more immersive fan experiences, both for Michiganders familiar with regulated gaming products as well as newcomers to the space."
Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and FanDuel Group reported back in August the debut of the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook in the state of Illinois. Sports bettors across the state of Illinois now have access to FanDuel's industry-leading online and mobile sports-betting platform, with wagering options available in professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and more. Additionally, FanDuel will operate a retail sportsbook located at Boyd Gaming's Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, Illinois, pending regulatory approval. Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming, said: "Given the tremendous success of our existing FanDuel Sportsbooks, we are confident that the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook will quickly become Illinois sports bettors' mobile app of choice. We are excited for the opportunity to offer both mobile and retail sports betting in one of the most populous states in the country, as we continue to expand our strategic partnership with FanDuel Group."
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