July 21st, 2021 Weekly Report
This week in legal sports betting, a partnership is emerging between BetMGM and the Pittsburgh Pirates as the operator's latest strategic marketing move. Michigan legal sportsbooks set a new sports betting revenue figure in the month of June. FanDuel partners with Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and WynnBET adds its first NFL marketing partner.
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BetMGM Partners with MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates
BetMGM sportsbook has recently added Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates’ franchise as a strategic marketing partner. This new agreement continues the sportsbook’s commitment to building business relationships with individual US pro sports teams.
The centerpiece of this new partnership includes branding at PNC Park along with fan-focused promotions. There will also be branded content on the Pirates’ digital media platforms. This includes any of the team’s social media properties. Commenting on the marketing partnership was Matt Prevost as BetMGM’s chief revenue officer with the following thoughts:
“BetMGM has seen tremendous success in Pennsylvania since launching in December 2020. Growing our presence across the state, in partnership with the Pirates, is a top priority and we look forward to providing Pittsburgh’s passionate sports fans unique promotions and benefits only available on BetMGM.”
Since rolling out the brand in 2018, BetMGM has expanded operations to 12 different states. Pennsylvania has quickly established itself as a major market for legal sports betting based on the industry’s monthly handle. The sports betting handle refers to the total monetary volume of sports bets placed during a specific time frame.
BetMGM has grown to become the third-biggest legal US sportsbook in terms of market share. Earlier this year, industry data estimated that this book controls 22 percent of the legal US betting market. FanDuel ranks as the biggest book with 32.9 percent of the market followed by DraftKings at 24%.
Further industry data suggests that BetMGM has been able to expand its market share through recent company initiatives. Partnering with the Pirates is an excellent example of strategic branding designed to increase the company’s active customer base. From an investment standpoint, shares of the parent company, MGM Resorts International have gained close to 25% in value in 2021. This compares favorably with industry share growth of just 2.5%.
Michigan Posts Impressive June Revenue Gain for Legal Sports Betting
The summer months are the slowest time of the year for the legal sports betting industry. Baseball is still in full swing with daily MLB action and both the NBA and NHL playoffs carried over into July. However, sports bettors in general tend to take a pause in the summer in anticipation of the new football season starting in early September.
The two biggest monthly measures for legal US sportsbooks are the total handle and overall revenue made on that action. While the betting handle in Michigan was basically flat for June, the state’s legal books set a new record for total revenue.
With tax revenue at a higher level, this points to a successful month for Michigan sportsbooks and the state. The overall handle in June was $259.5 million according to state gaming data. The book’s revenue on that handle came in at $27.2 million. The taxes and fees on that revenue amounted to $1.1 million. This is the most money Michigan has taken in over the course of a month since sports betting became legal in the state.
Revenue figures relate directly to a sportsbook’s hold. This is the difference between the amount of money paid out for winning bets and the money collected on losing bets plus the standard 10% commission or juice. Monthly promotions, especially for new players, comes out of a book’s hold as an added cost. The higher revenue in June is a sign that Michigan’s betting base is starting to mature with a smaller influx of new players.
The legal Michigan sports betting market closely follows the national average when it comes to market share. The big three of FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM control close to 80% of the state’s sports betting market.
Mohegan Sun Turns to FanDuel for Legal Online Sports Betting in Connecticut
Sports betting legislation in Connecticut set the stage for three mobile operators. The first is the Connecticut Lottery Corporation. This group will run 15 retail sportsbooks across the state. The Lottery will also offer online sports betting on the web and through a specific app.
Also in the mix are the state’s two tribal casinos. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Mohegan Sun is owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe. With Foxwoods turning to DraftKings as its mobile sports betting partner, FanDuel has been chosen to fill that role with Mohegan Sun.
This does not come as too big of a surprise given the size and success of each book. However, recent formalities in the regulatory process made the FanDuel decision official.
As part of the deal with Mohegan Sun, FanDuel’s DFS (daily fantasy sports) operations in Connecticut will now become permanent. Ray Pineault is the President and CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. His official comments on this partnership included:
“We’re excited to work with FanDuel, one of the leading sports-tech entertainment companies in the US to bring the brand’s innovative sports betting and iGaming solutions to Mohegan Sun Connecticut. Our partnership is a priority for Mohegan Digital, as we look to grow and enhance our casino, sportsbook and online operations in Connecticut – and beyond.” He went on to add: “We’re confident that FanDuel will deliver a best-in-class digital and in-person experience for our loyal guests.”
Along with online betting across the state, FanDuel will also operate a retail sportsbook as part of Mohegan Sun’s guest amenities. Amy Howe is the president of the FanDuel Group. She added the following thoughts:
“Mohegan Sun is an iconic casino and entertainment destination in the Northeast, and we are excited to announce our first tribal gaming partnership with one of the leading tribal operators in the United States. We have some incredible plans for the retail space at Mohegan Sun, with the potential to be the largest FanDuel Sportsbook in the United States.”
WynnBET Expands Its Presence in Michigan with Detroit Lions’ Partnership
WynnBET may have been a bit late to the party in the realm of legal mobile sports betting. Yet, the company is making up for lost time with a few of its latest marketing initiatives. You can add the NFL to that list with the company’s new strategic marketing partnership with the Detroit Lions.
As part of the multi-year deal, WynnBET will become an official sportsbook and gaming partner of the Detroit Lions. Even more exciting will be the debut of “WynnBET Sports Bar at Ford Field” as a major cross-promotional endeavor. Lions’ fans at Ford Field will be greeted by brand ambassadors as part of the onsite experience. There will be special hospitality packages including food and drink.
WynnBET will also be the presenting sponsor of a ‘Free to Play’ game on the team’s official mobile app. Prizes include trips to Wynn Las Vegas casino and resort. Multiple branding opportunities are gained through access to digital and traditional media verticals. WynnBET will gain exposure on TV broadcasts for all preseason games as well as regular season pregame TV programming. This includes in-game radio broadcasts.
Anyone attending this season’s Detroit Lions’ home games will have access to WynnBET’s mobile sports betting app outside of Ford Field. This will be part of Lions Pride Plaza pre-game festivities.
Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can read more about our author's expertise here.