The Stars Group, the parent entity of PokerStars, has signed up a partnership with Eldorado Resorts in a bid to expand its footprint across the United States. The company plans to move in on as many as 11 states where it hopes to establish its iGaming operations.
Building on the Success of Sports Betting
It has long been debated whether the defeat of PASPA would pave the way for a brighter future for poker in the United States. While the legislation didn’t formally bother to specify that online poker is exempt from any of the restrictions that presently apply, operators have remained determined to fight for a better future for the game.
The latest partnership between Eldorado Resorts and The Stars Group (TSG) is a 20-year deal, which will allow TSG to start operating sports betting for Eldorado Resorts, but it will equally grant access to online poker and iGaming operations across the entire country.
Eldorado Resorts announced today that it has entered into a 20-year definitive agreement with The Stars Group (TSG) which Eldorado will provide TSG with options to obtain access to Eldorado’s second skins for online sports wagering. Eldorado Resorts Inc. shares rose more than 9% pic.twitter.com/9UO7kZ5mfq
— DINGNews (@DINGNews) November 26, 2018
In practice, TSG will benefit from Eldorado’s licenses and will in turn disburse a percentage of the winnings back to the casino operator. The deal begins with an upfront payment worth $25 million, which TSG is paying Eldorado to set-up its operations. Additional $5 million will be added to this sum as soon as the sports betting segment launches.
The operator will reaffirm its position in Nevada, Misssissippi, and West Virginia, but more importantly, it will expand its reach across multiple new states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Ohio.
Once TSG has officially started its operations in the aforementioned markets, the company will de facto have access to 13 states in the country, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey where it already partners with different casino properties.
TSG CEO Rafi Ashkenazi has commented on the deal, saying that his company was satisfied to be doing business with one of the most significant players on the market.
We are excited to announce this agreement with Eldorado, one of the fastest growing regional gaming companies in the United States. – TSG CEO Rafi Ashkenazi
Mr. Ashkenazi is equally interested in signing up lucrative media partnerships and further diversify the portfolio of the company.
This agreement establishes the foundation for our US strategy as we tactically pursue access to other key states and opportunities with potential media partners.
Eldorado Resorts Chairman and CEO Gary Carano was equally hopeful of the deal and its implications for the business of the company. According to Mr. Carano, the partnership will help Eldorado Resorts to expand in the digital segment.
We are excited to work with The Stars Group to capitalize on their proven ability to leverage their products to gain share in the growing market for online gaming – Eldorado Resorts CEO Gary Carano
Even though poker and iGaming are not the current focus of the partnership, it’s likely that TSG will seek to also give poker a boost, as it’s one of its major interests. However, TSG is also cognizant of the difficulties that legislation some pose.
As a result, patience would be the best strategy and it seems to be what the company is going for.