MGM Resorts International announced two big partnerships Monday, setting the stage for it to potentially become a major player in the online gaming arena. In two separate press releases, MGM revealed deals with both GVC Holdings and brick-and-mortar gambling rival, Boyd Gaming.
GVC Holdings, though not exactly a household name in internet gambling (to those outside the industry, at least, is nevertheless a major player. GVC owns a slew of brands, including partypoker, bwin, Sportingbet, Ladbrokes, and Coral. It is now going hard to the paint with MGM.
According to MGM, “The new venture will have exclusive access to all U.S. land-based and online sports betting, online real money and free-to-play casino gaming, major tournament and online poker, and other similar future interactive businesses – facilitating entry into multiple digital gaming verticals under the playMGM and partypoker headline brands. The venture will also allow for full integration between the MGM Resorts and GVC loyalty programs, enhancing the user experience and value proposition for existing and future customers.”
It looks like MGM will be using GVC’s technology in an even larger footprint, as it also inked what it calls an “unprecedented” partnership with Boyd Gaming in which each will be able to offer online gambling and sports betting in locations where the other has a physical casino.
MGM and Boyd have a history of cooperation, despite being competitors. They once each owned half of the Borgata in Atlantic City until MGM bought out Boyd’s portion two years ago.
“Under this partnership,” the press release explained, “MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming will both have the opportunity to offer online and mobile gaming platforms – including sports betting, casino gaming and poker – in jurisdictions where either Boyd Gaming or MGM Resorts operate physical casino resorts and online licenses are available. Under this market access agreement, each company will have a path to expand their online and mobile gaming presence across 15 states.”
Both MGM and Boyd have casinos in Nevada and Mississippi, but that’s it. The deal, then, will have a significant impact in the ability for each company to reach millions more potential customers. And though MGM is the bigger name, it is Boyd that has a presence in more states outside of Nevada and Mississippi, eight to five.
As this site’s readers likely know, only four states currently have regulated and legalized online gambling: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Neither MGM nor Boyd has a casino in Delaware and Pennsylvania is still in the process of reviewing licensing applications. Thus, the deal won’t have a gigantic immediate impact in terms of online poker and casino games. There is more momentum with sports betting, though. While options there are limited, as well, it does seem like more state legislatures are taking sports betting seriously and will be quicker to push legalization bills through.