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Gambling in the USA

CEO claims Paddy Power Betfair is “well positioned” in USA

Niji Ng

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Peter Jackson, chief executive officer of Paddy Power Betfair, said that the company is “well positioned to achieve scale in the US quickly” after a 20 per cent rise in revenue in the second quarter.

The company’s Q2 results were boosted by the activity around Fifa World Cup, as the sales showed a 13 per cent increase. This is encouraging after a weak first quarter showing for the company.

The highlight of the second quarter, though, was the completion of the deal to acquire US daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel.

Although the takeover was only completed last month, after the end of the second quarter, Jackson said in an earnings call that the operator can be justifiably optimistic about growth opportunities in the US, having already established a presence in the country prior to the FanDuel deal.

Sports revenue spiked by 22 per cent in Q2 in the US, with gaming revenue increasing by 18 per cent.

“Fantasy sports will continue to be an important feature in the US market, especially in states where it could take a while for sports betting to be regulated,” said Jackson, who mentioned the “cross-selling” opportunities.

Jackson added that he envisages a “different market construct” in the US in terms of the balance between free-to-play games and sports betting, given the strength of the DFS market.

“Having 100,000 customers in New Jersey is a good starting point,” he said.

“Our US strategy is to go after the B2C market under the FanDuel brand. We have secured market access agreements covering 15 states and 36 per cent of the US population, including markets where regulation is expected by the end of 2019.

“It’s worth remembering that our US business is not a start-up. We have established brands, with FanDuel in sports and TVG in racing, an extensive product suite, operational expertise and we already operate in 45 states, including real-money wagering in 33.”

“Scale is essential for generating sustainable returns in the long term.”

Jackson, referencing the company’s solid base in the US, added: “The group’s strong balance sheet gives us important firepower and could prove to be a competitive advantage.”

In the trading update, Paddy Power Betfair’s profit before tax edged up by 4 per cent to £106m (€118m/$137m), but underlying earnings slipped by 1 per cent.

Additionally, Paddy Power Betfair also said that full-year earnings before deductions and interest, “pre-US sports betting”, is now expected to be between £460m and £480 – down from the previous expectation outlined in the Q1 trading update of between £470m and £495m.

This was attributed to the introduction of point-of-consumption tax and new product fees in Australia and swallowing up Fanduel’s losses “in the high single digits.”

The company added that, with the “infrastructure” already in place to expand in the US, any expenditure in relation to the market would fall under the marketing column.

Jackson added: “In Europe, product enhancements and improved cross sell rates have led to stronger gaming revenue growth over the past few months for both brands, whilst customer satisfaction with the Paddy Power sports app has stepped up.

“Recent marketing campaigns have also been successful with the Betfair brand increasingly identified as having the best odds. The World Cup was a showcase event for Paddy Power, with a series of successfully executed marketing campaigns leading to it being one of the UK’s most talked about brands in social media conversations around the tournament.”

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Gambling in the USA

Boyd Gaming Completes Acquisition Of Four Pinnacle Entertainment Assets

George Miller

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Boyd Gaming Completes Acquisition Of Four Pinnacle Entertainment Assets
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Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) today announced that it has completed its acquisition of the operations of four properties from Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.: Ameristar St. Charles (Missouri); Ameristar Kansas City (Missouri); Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana; and Belterra Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As part of the transaction, Boyd Gaming has entered into a master lease agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (NASDAQ: GLPI), which owns the real estate of Ameristar St. Charles, Ameristar Kansas City and Belterra Casino Resort. Boyd Gaming acquired both the operations and real estate of Belterra Park, utilizing financing from GLPI for the purchase of the Belterra Park real estate assets.

The acquisition follows the Company’s recent purchase of Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, on September 17.  Boyd Gaming now operates 29 casino properties in 10 states – Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“By adding these four high-quality properties, we have significantly expanded our portfolio and enhanced our free cash flow profile at a compelling multiple,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming.  “We have gained a strong presence in three of the Midwest’s largest gaming markets, with access to millions of potential new customers.  We are pleased to welcome the Ameristar and Belterra team members to Boyd Gaming, and look forward to great success together.”

 

About Boyd Gaming:
Founded in 1975, Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) is a leading geographically diversified operator of 29 gaming entertainment properties in 10 states.  The Company currently operates 1.76 million square feet of casino space, approximately 38,000 gaming machines, 900 table games, more than 11,000 hotel rooms, and 320 food and beverage outlets.  With one of the most experienced leadership teams in the casino industry, Boyd Gaming prides itself on offering its guests an outstanding entertainment experience, delivered with unwavering attention to customer service.

Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements contain words such as “may,” “will,” “might,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “could,” “would,” “estimate,” “continue,” “pursue,” or the negative thereof or comparable terminology, and include (without limitation) statements regarding Boyd Gaming’s significant expansion of its portfolio and its enhanced free cash flow profile at a compelling multiple. These forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of management and involve certain risks and uncertainties, including (without limitation) risks associated with changes to the financial conditions or the economic conditions in the areas in which Boyd Gaming operates; the fact that Boyd Gaming’s expansion projects are subject to many risks inherent in expansion, development or construction of a new or existing project; competition; litigation; financial community and rating agency perceptions of Boyd Gaming and its subsidiaries; changes in laws and regulations, including increased taxes; the availability and price of energy, weather, regulation, economic, credit and capital market conditions; and the effects of war, terrorist or similar activity. Additional factors are discussed in “Risk Factors” in Boyd Gaming’s annual, periodic and current reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date hereof, based on information available to Boyd Gaming as of the date hereof, and Boyd Gaming assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

 

Source: Boyd Gaming Corporation

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Gambling in the USA

Wynn Resorts and BetBull Limited Announce U.S. Sports Betting Partnership

George Miller

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Wynn Resorts and BetBull Limited Announce U.S. Sports Betting Partnership
Photo Source: fool.com
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Wynn Resorts, Limited announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with BetBull Limited, 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.

 

About Wynn Resorts:

Wynn Resorts, Limited is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol WYNN and is part of the S&P 500 Index. Wynn Resorts owns and operates Wynn Las Vegas (wynnlasvegas.com), Wynn Macau (wynnmacau.com) and Wynn Palace, Cotai (wynnpalace.com).

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas feature two luxury hotel towers with a total of 4,750 spacious hotel rooms, suites and villas, approximately 192,000 square feet of casino space, 22 dining experiences featuring signature chefs and 11 bars, two award-winning spas, approximately 290,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, approximately 110,000 square feet of retail space as well as two showrooms; three nightclubs, a beach club and recreation and leisure facilities. A luxury retail Strip-front expansion, Wynn Plaza, is currently under construction and is scheduled to debut the second half of 2018.

Wynn Macau is a luxury hotel and casino resort located in the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China with two luxury hotel towers with a total of 1,008 spacious rooms and suites, approximately 273,000 square feet of casino space, casual and fine dining in eight restaurants, approximately 31,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, approximately 59,000 square feet of retail space, and recreation and leisure facilities including two opulent spas, a salon and a rotunda show.

Wynn Palace is a luxury integrated resort in Macau. Designed as a floral-themed destination, it boasts 1,706 exquisite rooms, suites and villas, approximately 420,000 square feet of casino space, 11 food and beverage outlets, approximately 37,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, approximately 106,000 square feet of designer retail, SkyCabs that traverse an eight-acre Performance Lake, an extensive collection of rare art, a lush spa, salon and recreation and leisure facilities.

Wynn Resorts is currently constructing Encore Boston Harbor located in Everett, Massachusetts.

About BetBull Limited:

BetBull is the next generation betting company that offers users a truly unique experience, the first of its kind to combine free-to-play game mechanics with a mobile-first and truly social design.

Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Sadok Kohen, BetBull has a presence in Malta and the United Kingdom. The Company is backed by former CEOs of 888 Holdings and Bwin, as well as several other prominent investors.

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Gambling in the USA

Arkansas court ruling paves way for casinos

Niji Ng

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Arkansas court ruling paves way for casinos
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The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled in favour of an amendment, which will pave the way for setting up licensed casinos in the state. Specifically, the court upheld Issue 4, the amendment for allowing four casino licenses in the state.

Nate Steel, counsel for Driving Arkansas Forward that lobbies for casino licenses, said that the Supreme Court ruling clears the path for Arkansas voters to add almost US$6 million to the state’s economy and create 6,000 new jobs.

 “We are grateful the Supreme Court upheld the Attorney General’s certification that Issue 4 is clear and understandable to voters. We are confident Arkansas will vote to keep casino entertainment dollars in our state when they cast their ballots on Nov. 6,” said Steel.

The legal challenges were filed in September against the ballot and Chief Justice Dan Kemp, who was in charge of the challenges and later recused from the cases. The lawsuits were trying to get the proposal disqualified from the ballot, even after a major lobbying campaign that managed to get the question on the November election.

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