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Gambling in the USA

5 Ways Investors are Betting on a 2019 Gambling Boom

George Miller

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5 Ways Investors are Betting on a 2019 Gambling Boom
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In May 2018, the Court struck down a U.S. Federal law that prohibited legal sports gambling, ruling that it was unconstitutional. Sports gambling can now be authorized and regulated by the States, not by the Federal Government. And it’s triggered a potential sports gambling revolution. Mentioned in today’s commentary includes: MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT), Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR), Millennial Esports Corp. (OTC:MLLLF).

In October, the state of New Jersey handled more than $250 million in bets, a 41% increase from the previous month. The Garden State is leading the way. Mississippi, Delaware, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island…the legal sports gambling world is growing by the day.

By 2022, sports fans around the world will be betting $1 trillion online every year. Profiting from this new industry doesn’t have to mean rolling the dice.

Here’s five stocks investors should watch because of the shift to legal sports gambling:

#1 MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM)

Sports betting is small potatoes in Vegas: compared to blackjack earnings of $1.24 billion, legal sports betting only pulled in a paltry $329.1 million. But all that’s about to change, and major casino chain MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) is working to bring sports betting to the prime-time.

The biggest casino operator in the U.S. generates over $4 billion in revenue from Vegas alone. But it also has properties in Atlantic City, and just this year took over the Empire Casino in New York. It’s got a pretty sizable footprint in the sports betting world, raking in $114 million from sport betting on the Strip last year, 35% of the total.

With a market cap of $13.5 billion, MGM has some deep pockets. And its using that financial muscle to corner the sports betting world. It’s already launched sports betting at two Mississippi casinos, and became the “official gaming partner” of the NBA.

MGM Resorts has solidified deals with the biggest leagues in the country: basketball, hockey and professional baseball have all signed on to allow MGM to cross-promote the company’s casinos and sports betting app. So far, MGM can only handle bets for teams based in states where betting has been formerly legalized.

By far the biggest prize is the National Football League, and MGM has already got its foot in the door. With Pennsylvania about to embrace legal sports betting, both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be fair-game.

#2 Bragg (BRAG.V; BKDCF)

Bragg Gaming Group (BRAG.V; BKDCF), formerly Breaking Data Corp., has an audience of 31 million for its media property, Give Me Sport (GMS). Together with its online global gaming platform, Oryx Gaming, BRAGG has plans to leverage the Give Me Sport audience into the largest sports gaming customer base on earth. Online gambling can be incredibly profitable, with one study estimating the gross market at $46.7 billion in 2018 and $89 billion by 2025.

GMS has a Facebook page with 26 million active, fanatic users. For comparison, ESPN has only 19 million, and it’s a major media brand, worth $28 billion. Or Sky Bet, a property that was just sold for $5.7 billion, which had only 819,000 viewers.

BRAGG hopes to tap into its huge audience, using the Oryx Gaming services to launch a new sports-centric betting platform, Give Me Bet. When Give Me Bet goes live, it will incorporate Oryx Gaming tech with the GMS brand, to deliver a catered on-line sports betting experience specifically for BRAGG’s audience.

BRAGG has seen strong growth in its two major assets, Give Me Sports and Oryx. Just in the last year, Oryx has seen revenue growth of more than 400%. Monthly traffic in the UK for Give Me Sport has increased by 5 million, with revenue growing 30%. If BRAGG (BRAG.V; BKDCF) taps a reasonable number of its huge potential audience, its earnings from sports gambling could be enormous.

This little company could be one of the biggest success stories of 2019.

#3 International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT)

This company has had a rocky year, climbing to a one-year high of $31 before falling to $14 in November, to stabilize in early December at around $16.

With a market cap of $3.4 billion and 12,000 employees, IGT is a big firm with a big footprint: it manufactures more casino gaming platforms and slot machines than any other company out there. But times are changing, and IGT is branching out into sports betting.

IGT is a service provider, which means it doesn’t have to handle the risk of managing sportsbooks. All it needs to do is fulfill the needs of companies like MGM, constructing infrastructure that make the boom in sports betting possible. In 2017, IGT handled more than $12 billion in sports betting. That should make IGT a safe bet for investors looking to score on sports betting in 2019.

In July, IGT announced a deal with popular sports betting platform FanDuel. IGT will bring FanDuel’s services to its existing platforms in markets across fifteen states. IGT is about to roll out PlayShot, a new service for sports betters, which will utilize FanDuel’s consumer-facing waging system, sportsbook.fanduel.com.

FanDuel plans to leverage IGT’s tech and its solid reputation to build its brand into the legal world of sports betting. So, after a rocky year, it’s more than likely that IGT’s fortunes will pick up in 2019, along with the share price.

#4 Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD)

Boyd Gaming is one of the largest casino operators in the US, with 29 gaming properties in ten states. Like MGM, Boyd is positioning itself to be a major player in the emerging sports gambling sector.

This company has some unique experience from the Vegas Strip: for the last decade, Boyd Gaming has handled the biggest sportsbooks in Sin City. And now that sports betting is legal, it’s preparing to branch out into other regional markets.

The company just signed a deal with MGM Resorts, the casino chain that’s trying to corner the sports betting market. The two companies have agreed to share online and mobile gaming platforms, with MGM offering up its online poker and casino gaming apps for Boyd’s sportsbook, in 15 states. The “unprecedented” deal could mark the beginnings of a sports gambling empire, managed by MGM and Boyd.

Boyd’s got a new sports betting app, BConnected, that its rolled out in three casinos. And like IGT, it’s signed a deal with FanDuel, leasing out its gaming properties for FanDuel’s mobile and online sports betting platform.

The deal covers all states where Boyd holds gaming licenses, excluding Nevada, and builds off of Boyd’s deal with MGM.

#5 Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR)

One might not think a hotel chain would have much skin in the game, when it comes to sports gambling. But they’d be wrong. As one of the biggest hotel chains in the country, Marriott possesses marketing and rewards programs that casinos are eager to partner with. And as sports gambling grows around the country, sportsbooks holders like MGM and Boyd are going to want to partner with Marriott, to leverage the hotel chain’s customer base in order to rope in more business.

Marriott already has a sizable footprint in the casino world, with a licensing deal with JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, as well as a number of casinos across the Caribbean. And in February 2018, the company announced plans to build a 4,000 room resort and casino, The Drew, in the heart of the Vegas Strip.

Marriott has suffered some bad press lately, taking a hit for a data breach scandal in December. But the stock is poised to bounce back, and could yield some excellent returns when sports gambling picks up and the national market grows and grows.

Other companies prepared to see huge growth as gaming takes off again:

Millennial Esports Corp. (OTCQB:MLLLF)

Millenial E-sports is a small company based in Toronto focusing on E-sports and E-gaming.

The Company doesn’t just focus on content creation and broadcasting, it also offers data analytics and execution tools.

In 2017, the company started providing analytics and business intelligence products for the e-gaming industry, and recently, the company has partnered with the likes of Aston Martin and McLaren but also with MotoGp and Formula E and has developed games for mobile platforms.

By. Meredith Taylor

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Gambling in the USA

Sports Betting Bill of Michigan Moves Forward

Niji Narayan

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Sports Betting Bill of Michigan Moves Forward
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A sports betting bill would allow organised sports betting in Michigan casinos and online was passed out of a state house committee. State Representative Brandt Iden of Kalamazoo is sponsoring the legislation.

“Because this is already going on in the market place so we can protect those people who want to play and want to play legally, and we can, you know, make the state a little bit of money, which I think is also a positive,” Iden said.

Iden hopes the bill continues to make its way through the legislature and onto Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk before Superbowl season.

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Gambling in the USA

Gaming Innovation Group extends Hard Rock’s sportsbook in Iowa

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group extends Hard Rock's sportsbook in Iowa
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We found in a new press release that

Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has reached an agreement with its partner, Hard Rock International (Hard Rock), to support its market entry with sports betting in the US state of Iowa. The sportsbook will initially launch with an over-the-counter solution on the casino floor at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City in Iowa. This will be followed by the launch of online and mobile sports betting in Iowa, expected in Q4 2019.

In Iowa, Hard Rock will offer a similar seamless and engaging betting experience for its consumers as it has already delivered in New Jersey, with an omni-channel sportsbook solution based on GiG’s modern and flexible technology.

For GiG, this means the Company will be able to leverage its platform in the US adding more scale to its network and revenues to the business. GiG already has the groundwork done in New Jersey after a successful proof of concept suitable and relevant to the American audience.

Iowa is one of the 12 states in the US legalising sports wagering since the US Supreme Court overturned the federal sports wagering ban in 2018. In August this year, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) authorised the 19 casinos in the state to offer statewide retail, online and mobile sports betting to consumers aged 21 or over. Iowa has approximately 3.2 million inhabitants and should also benefit with visitors from neighboring states such as Nebraska and Minnesota. It has an estimated mature sports betting market valued at revenues of around $160 million based on the total amount of money wagered by consumers. The tax rate on the sports betting revenue is 7.5%.

GiG expects this agreement to have limited impact on its revenues in 2019, with an increasing contribution from the launch of online and mobile betting in 2020 onwards.

Kresimir Spajic, Senior Vice President of Online Gaming at Hard Rock International says, “We’re excited to extend our partnership with GiG to support sports betting in Iowa, and further grow our sportsbook portfolio.”  

“Offering sports betting through GiG provides our players and guests a new level of engagement – we couldn’t be more thrilled to be launching in Iowa,” Jim Franke, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City.

Richard Brown, acting Chief Executive Officer of GiG says, “After a successful launch in New Jersey, I am delighted to further deepen the relationship with Hard Rock, delivering on our strategy to grow with our partner by entering a new state in the US with our sportsbook. The agreement is both a testament to our know-how and prowess to lead a land-based casino into the digital world of betting, and a strong validation of GiG’s commercial and product delivery capabilities. We are looking forward to growing with our partner long term. We have mutual ambitions to entertain consumers with a safe and exciting first-class sports betting experience.”

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Gambling in the USA

Vegas Golden Knights home opener viewing party at the Plaza Hotel & Casino

George Miller

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Vegas Golden Knights home opener viewing party at the Plaza Hotel & Casino
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The Plaza Hotel & Casino will host a free viewing party for the Vegas Golden Knights home opener against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

The free viewing party, open to all ages, will be held in the Plaza Events Center, which has 18 large screen high definition televisions, two projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system, making it one of the best sports viewing experiences in downtown Las Vegas.

Guests can toast the Knights with an exclusive $4 12 oz. Training Day draft beer from 7Five Brewing, Ryan Reeves’ Official Vegas Born Beer (while supplies last). A special $2 Irish Whiskey Shot will also be available with any draft beer purchase. The party will also offer pizza and wing specials from Pop Up Pizza and beer buckets: Domestic (5 bottles for $25) or Imported (5 bottles for $30).

Throughout the game, the Plaza will giveaway official VGK licensed Items, such as lanyards, car gear, hats, bags, VGK wine, and select inaugural season Items. One lucky guest will also have a chance to win a 2-night complimentary stay in one of the Plaza’s newly renovated premium Luxe rooms (restrictions may apply). Each guest will receive one complimentary drawing ticket upon entry for a chance to win prizes (21 years of age or older for certain items).

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