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Las Vegas Casinos Seek Newer Fortunes With Sports Betting

Las Vegas based gaming operators are seeking newer ways to remain profitable as complaints from gamblers increases over added fees and exorbitant charges—all together with the growing competition from casinos all over the world.

However, for some gaming operators, sports betting seems to be the solution to the growing concerns, and a new emphasis has been placed on wagering which has changed the business approach of these companies. The expansion of gambling has been a welcome development for Las Vegas casinos for about a decade now, as they began taking full advantage of new opportunities that arose. Since the 1900s, casino companies have led the expansion of gambling opportunities across both the United States and internationally. In some cases, despite some initial challenges, Las Vegas companies have been rewarded heavily for investing in the Chinese enclave of Macau—though it wasn’t successful when Las Vegas Sands owner, Sheldon Adelson abandoned the planned $30 billion Eurovegas resort near Madrid after hinderance from the Spanish government.

With gambling witnessing significant growth over the past few years, competition has also risen, and the popular Las Vegas-based casino operators have begun to focus more on sports betting—especially since it has been offered for years and has a rapidly-growing national audience. However, the legalization of sports betting has witnessed lots of hinderances and for the past twenty years, states that never legalized sports betting were prohibited from adopting it by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

But on May 14, the door was flung wide open after the U.S. Supreme Court abolished that law allowing players legally enjoy sports betting. So far, five states— New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Rhode Island—have legalized sports betting, and Delaware, have change their gaming model from offering multigame (parlay) bets to single-game betting (you can read more here).

MGM Resorts International announced that it is in talks with GVC Holdings, one of the world’s largest sports betting companies, about a potential sports betting joint venture. The potential deal came just two months after the legalization of sports betting, potentially creating a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for casino operators.

“The group can confirm that discussions are at an advanced stage regarding such a joint venture and will update the market when appropriate,’’ U.K.-based GVC said in the statement.

"We are proud to join forces with GVC, the largest and most dynamic global online betting operator, with existing reputable and trusted operations in the U.S. With MGM Resorts' expertise and leading position in key markets across the U.S.,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts. 

“This historic partnership will be positioned to become the instant leader in technology, market access, sports relationships and brands."

"We are excited to benefit from GVC's proprietary, best-in-class technology, digital customer acquisition expertise, and experience with adapting to new operating environments. GVC is unusually qualified due to their existing operations in the U.S. Together, we are creating a one-of-a-kind platform that we expect will dominate the U.S. sports betting market."

The Las Vegas-based gaming and hospitality giant also penned down a deal to share online and mobile gaming opportunities with Boyd Gaming.

"We are excited to team yet again with Boyd Gaming on this unprecedented partnership, which allows us to fully engage with the almost 30 million M life Rewards members throughout the country," said MGM Resorts Chairman & CEO, Jim Murren. "We look forward to expanding our entertainment options for guests beyond their visits to our land-based resorts."

Las Vegas-based gaming giant, Caesars Entertainment equally joined the trend by announcing a partnership with manufacturing behemoth Scientific Games to offer sports betting in two locations—New Jersey and Mississippi.

"We are excited that Caesars chose Scientific Games' OpenBet sportsbook technology to provide the company and its players with our advanced, proven sports betting platform,” said Barry Cottle, President and Chief Executive Officer at Scientific Games in a press release.

“This is a pivotal deal that will shape the U.S. sports betting landscape for years to come. Together, we will usher in a new era for gaming in the U.S. and welcome thousands of new players into the sports betting market.”

More and more executives are now cashing in on these expanded opportunities to enable them to tap into the growing market for legal sports betting in the United States. However, there are some underlying concerns as to how big an impact sports betting would have.

Nevertheless, the apparent success of sports betting and the diversion to online and mobile wagering platforms is quite important because it implies that, although casino companies are investing billions in building and maintaining resorts, they are equally willing to create avenues for their customers to gamble remotely.