Welcome to the latest edition of "Bet On It," where The Fly looks at news and activity in the sports betting and iGaming space.
SECTOR NEWS: Nevada reported March Las Vegas Strip gaming win was up 48.8% versus last year to $746.23M while statewide gaming win gained 26.8% year-over-year to $1.36B.
Oryx Gaming, a Bragg Gaming (BRAG) company, announced it secured a deal to provide its Player Account Management, or PAM, iGaming platform and exclusive content to brand new online gambling site Betnation.nl in the Netherlands. The anticipated site is set to go live later this year in the Dutch market where Oryx continues its growth.
DraftKings (DKNG) announced the signing of former Notre Dame Football player and television personality, Mike Golic Jr. In his first project with the company, Golic Jr. will partner with former teammate, Brandon Newman. "GoJo," a new daily podcast scheduled to debut on May 2, will offer perspective on topics across sports and culture, the company announced.
Caesars (CZR) announced the launch of a new Caesars Rewards Visa card, in partnership with Bread Financial (BFH). "For the first time, new and existing Caesars Rewards members will earn not just Reward Credits but also have the opportunity to raise their Tier Status with every purchase made using their Caesars Rewards Visa card," the companies stated.
The Cleveland Browns and Bally's (BALY) announced a long-term partnership that features various fan-focused elements and establishes the gaming leader as an official sports betting partner of the team. Pending appropriate licensing and regulatory approvals, the collaboration will be highlighted by a branded lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium, the launch of the mobile Bally Bet Sportsbook app in Ohio and free-to-play gaming opportunities for fans in the state. The Browns and Bally's are currently identifying the location and specific fan accommodations for the Bally-themed lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium, details for which will be finalized in the coming months.
FanDuel (PDYPY) announced a multi-year partnership renewal to become an official sports betting partner of the New York Yankees. Under the terms of the agreement, FanDuel will be permitted use of New York Yankees' marks. Additionally, FanDuel will have VIP hospitality accommodations at Yankee Stadium along with integrated FanDuel signage in right-field and rotational signage behind home plate during television broadcasts. "There is no more globally recognized sports brand than the New York Yankees, and as a New York-based company we're delighted to remain partners with our hometown team," said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel. FanDuel Group is a subsidiary of Flutter Entertainment.
Elys Game Technology (ELYS) announced that the company has reached agreed terms to establish an exclusive partnership with Wright Bet Ventures to operate multiple sportsbooks in the state of Ohio. The company's wholly owned subsidiary USBook making will provide sport wagering services to manage the sportsbook risk and provide bookmaking services.
Accel Entertainment (ACEL) announced that Mathew Ellis has been named CFO of Accel, effective May 1. Ellis, formerly senior VP of corporate strategy for Accel, succeeds Brian Carroll, who last year notified the company of his intention to retire. Ellis will report directly to Accel CEO, Andy Rubenstein. Carroll has agreed to work closely with Ellis to ensure a transition and will remain with Accel in an advisory capacity until the end of 2023. "Accel's financial strength and strong balance sheet are true differentiators for our company and are critical to the success of Accel and our ability to continue growing the business while returning capital to our shareholders," said Accel Entertainment CEO Andy Rubenstein.
EARNINGS RECAP: Three notable companies reported quarterly earnings this week. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) fell short of analyst expectations in Q1. Aside from EPS and revenue Q1 adjusted property came in at $110M compared to $240M last year. "While pandemic-related restrictions continued to impact our financial results this quarter, we were able to generate positive EBITDA at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and for the company as a whole. We remain enthusiastic about the opportunity to welcome more guests back to our properties as greater volumes of visitors are eventually able to travel to Macao and Singapore," said Robert Goldstein, chairman and CEO. "We also remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting our team members and to helping those in need in each of our local communities as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain confident in the recovery of travel and tourism spending across our markets. Demand for our offerings from customers who have been able to visit remains robust, but pandemic-related travel restrictions in both Macao and Singapore continue to limit visitation and hinder our current financial performance. Our industry-leading investments in our team members, our communities, and our Integrated Resort property portfolio position us exceedingly well to deliver future growth as these travel restrictions subside and the recovery comes to fruition. We are fortunate that our financial strength supports our investment and capital expenditure programs in both Macao and Singapore, as well as our pursuit of growth opportunities in new markets."
Secondly, Churchill Downs (CHDN) found itself above consensus in its first quarter results. The company's Gaming segment delivered double digit revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth in Q1 compared to Q1 of FY21. In a separate announcement, Chirchill Downs noted the undertaking of a new project. Churchill Downs announced the Paddock redevelopment project that will debut for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in May 2024. The $185M-$200M redesign is the final phase of a previously-announced three-year capital investment plan for Churchill Downs Racetrack that will provide new guest experiences for Kentucky Derby fans. This project will transform the existing Paddock area in a manner that will enhance the experience for nearly every guest who enters the gates of the historic racetrack. The current Paddock configuration blocks views of the Twin Spires from the entrance gate and restricts circulation from the Clubhouse to the Grandstand. The bold new design will enhance visibility of the iconic Twin Spires, streamline guest circulation paths, update the audio visual experience and create additional value for guests by updating existing ticket products and amenities. The new design includes 12,000 square feet of guest space compared to the existing 5,000 square feet, increasing the capacity inside the Paddock from 1,000 to 2,400 people. The redevelopment will add various club spaces that will provide exclusive, intimate and behind-the-scenes equine-focused experiences unparalleled in all of sports and entertainment. Premium club seating options will include dining tables, rail boxes, custom Chef’s tables, cocktail service, reserved racetrack viewing areas and access to private amenities along with unprecedented Paddock views. In total, the Paddock Project is expected to create 3,612 new premium reserved seats at various price and experience levels along with 3,250 new standing room-only tickets. The Paddock Project will also update select existing ticket inventory and improve Paddock views for front-side guests with the addition of elevated viewing platforms.
Lastly, Boyd Gaming (BYD) also beat analyst estimates in Q1. Total adjusted EBITDAR was $338.8M in the first quarter of 2022, increasing 15.8% from $292.6M in the first quarter of 2021. The company set first-quarter adjusted EBITDAR records in each of its three operating segments, as well as first-quarter revenue records in both the Las Vegas Locals and Midwest & South segments. Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming, said: "In the first quarter of 2022, our disciplined approach to managing the business and strategic focus on our core customer once again produced exceptional results. During the quarter, strong performance from our core customers and sustained efficiencies in our marketing and operations contributed to record revenue, EBITDAR and margin performances on a Companywide basis. Additionally, we took an important step in advancing our online gaming strategy with our agreement in March to acquire Pala Interactive, which will provide us the technology and expertise to build a leading regional online casino gaming operation. We also continued to execute our robust capital return program, repurchasing $132 million in stock during the first quarter and reinstating our quarterly cash dividend. In all, the first quarter was an excellent start to 2022, as our proven operating strategy and experienced team continue to create long-term value for our shareholders."
LEGISLATURE DIVIDED: The Massachusetts State Senate passed legislation on Thursday that legalized sports gambling, but the bill passed by the Senate differs from the sports betting bill passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives about nine months ago, WCVB 5 reported.. The big divide between the bills is that the House's bill allows for gambling on college sports, while the Senate's bill does not. Notably, the Senate's sports betting bill does not allow for the use of credit cards to place bets.. As for what comes next, a six-person conference committee made up of members of both the House and the Senate must work together to draft a version of the sports betting bill to send to Governor Charlie Baker' desk to sign or veto by July 31. Reportedly, Baker said that under the right circumstances, betting on college sports is fine by him. "We filed a bill without college sports in there. The House did it with college sports. It would depend to some extent on the language, but I've said earlier that we would support that," Baker told WCVB 5. According to preliminary estimates, sports betting could collect an additional $35M in revenue to Massachusetts. Baker also cited that residents driving to bordering states like New Hampshire to place bets as another potential reason for the bill to get done.
THE GREAT DEBATE: The Missouri Senate spent hours Wednesday night debating a bill that would legalize online and retail sports betting statewide, Sam McQuillan of Action network reported. The Senate adjourned without even voting on HB 2502, which had already passed the House. A filibuster from Senator Denny Hoskins had a singular focus . He contends any gambling expansion that doesn’t include video lottery terminals will be hard to pass in the Senate. “You’re not going to have one without the other,” said Senator Karla May. Senator Mike Bernskoetter introduced an amendment that would have removed the addition of 5,000 video lottery terminals from the bill. citing large amounts “gray machines” present in Missouri, said he was against adding more gambling terminals at gas-stations and rest stops. While Hoskins filibuster has taken the steam out of the sports betting legalization push, it is probable that lawmakers push one of several other sports betting proposals in the legislature, although the House will have to vote again.
PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES IN THE SPACE INCLUDE: Accel Entertainment (ACEL), Bally's (BALY), Boyd Gaming (BYD), Caesars (CZR), Churchill Downs (CHDN), DraftKings (DKNG), Flutter Entertainment (PDYPY), Gan Limited (GAN), Genius Sports (GENI), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), MGM Resorts (MGM), Penn National (PENN), Rush Street Interactive (RSI), Scientific Games (SGMS) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN).