Entain will operate in Nevada for another three years through a license extension issued by regulators to the company owing to its ability to meet compliance targets.
Entain Receives Go-Ahead by Nevada’s Regulators
Entain has been cleared for a temporary three-year license by the Nevada Gaming Commission, almost two years after regulators first objected to the company’s entry in the Silver State, citing business practices concerns as the reason why, and were forced to only provide the company with a two-year license instead.
This has stopped the successful long-term rollout of Entain in the state. The company’s flagship betting brand, BetMGM, is already present in the state, and Entain operates it together with MGM Resorts International through a joint venture by the same name, i.e. “BetMGM*”. While regulators have issued the license in light of the progress achieved by Entain, the chances of turning down a licensing agreement with Entain seem to be very slim, precisely because of Entain’s connection to BetMGM.
BetMGM already has a strong foothold in 12 states, and, by the company’s own estimates, the sportsbook and gaming firm is set to dominate the US gambling market before long. BetMGM is an important asset for Entain in the Silver State. However, the company has hit a few snags and particularly in 2019 when the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission objected to Entain’s assets in unregulated markets something that Entain has vowed to amend by 2023.
This commitment, paired with dedicated efforts, has won Entain the approval of regulators who are now more willing to work with the company and its subsidiaries. The May 5 meeting held by the Control Board grilled Entain officials but ended on a positive note, with the Board noting tangible improvements in the way the company operated, which translated to the three-year license extension announced on Thursday.
Entain Comes Above and Beyond in Ensuring Compliance
In delivering his arguments, Entain’s attorney in Las Vegas, Mark Clayton, made a case for his company, arguing that Entain has gone through much trouble to ensure that it meets regulatory standards, adding new non-executive directors and reinforcing its compliance processes and overall strategy towards responsible gambling, sustainability and focus on regulated markets exclusively.
Clayton was convinced that the events of the past months had demonstrated Entain’s willingness to cooperate and comply with any rule sets that the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission may put forward. This is precisely what Commission chairman John Moran saw in the company’s recent efforts, arguing that Entain has adjusted its strategy to meet the standards set out by the watchdogs.
Commissioner Deborah Fuetsch commended Entain on the achieved progress. “You listened and understood the needs and made some changes,” she said in delivering a statement. Entain CFO didn’t miss to note that the company is in strong financial standing and that revenue increased 28% in 2020, with adjusted earnings going up 50%. Fuetsch agreed that the company’s financial position was strong with liquidity that allows it sufficient leverage.
*A previous version of the story said that the joint venture was called Roar Digital. The joint venture was renamed to “BetMGM” in 2020.