Wynn Resorts and UK social sports betting operator BetBull expanded on their partnership by creating an $80 million joint venture company, as the casino operator is looking to diversify its portfolio of online gaming. As part of the deal, Wynn has also acquired the BetBull business for an undisclosed price.
Wynn Acquires BetBull
Wynn Resorts and the UK social sport betting operator became strategic partners in October 2018, when the casino company acquired a 22.5% stake in the betting firm. Now, Wynn is acquiring the whole business as the BetBull entity will be absorbed in the new one, Wynn Interactive.
Ownership in the new joint venture will be split 71% to 29% in favor of Wynn Resorts shareholders, and the $80 million investment Wynn Interactive will use for customer acquisitions as it will focus on expansion, planning launches in Colorado, Michigan and Indiana for 2021.
Ambitions in Sports Betting
Wynn Resorts entered the online gambling sector in August, after launching its WynnBet sports book in New Jersey, and Wynn CEO Matt Maddox admitted during the third quarter earnings conference call that online betting and gaming is fairly new for the company.
“There’s been a lot going on in the gaming world concerning sports betting, and in particular, online sports betting. We’ve been very focused on this topic for the last couple of years, but we’ve been admittedly quiet about it. We decided we wanted to focus on product first. We wanted to have the best product we could when it came to online sports betting. We scoured the earth and we found a company in the UK called BetBull.”Matt Maddox, CEO, Wynn Resorts
Wynn then went on to discover that the casino operator and the UK company had a great cultural fit, as the UK entity had founded bwin and party, besides the social product in the UK, Matt Maddox continued, pointing out that the focus was to make sure the new business was built on solid base.
It was important for Wynn, at least for the time being, to own the majority of the business and be the one calling the shots, Wynn’s CEO noted, not limiting the company’s options from engaging with other sources of funding in the future, but only on its terms.
Rapid Market Expansion
Speaking about the company’s outlook for the near future, Matt Maddox revealed in details what Wynn Resorts has coming down the pipeline. Having signed market access deals for 9 states, Wynn is also in an advanced stage of negotiation in terms of dialogue and documentation for the entry in another 7.
The deals for the initial 9 states represent access to 25% of the market which is estimated to be between $20 billion and $30 billion, and the additional 7 states should provide access to another third of the remaining market, and an aggregate of more than the half of the total addressable market, the executive highlighted.
In New Jersey, the new joint venture Wynn Interactive currently employs 150 members of staff but that number would go up as soon as market expansion for the company gathers pace.