Ladbrokes owner GVC confirms $200m US sports betting partnership with MGM Resorts

Move comes amid scramble to gain slice of newly legalised industry in US

Ben Chapman
Monday 30 July 2018 14:46
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US sports fans will be able to legally gamble on events such as NFL matches after the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 ban
US sports fans will be able to legally gamble on events such as NFL matches after the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 ban

Ladbrokes owner GVC has confirmed it will partner with MGM resorts on a US sports betting joint venture to take advantage of a huge new market.

The US Supreme Court ruled in May that Congress had exceeded its authority by passing a 1992 law banning gambling on sports.

That decision has sparked a race for firms to capitalise on the new opportunity, with Americans thought to have wagered tens of billions of dollars on illegal sports last year.

The latest tie-up will see GVC, which owns Coral, Sportingbet, Foxy Bingo, Gala and Bwin, join forces with MGM, the company most famous for its Las Vegas casinos such as the MGM Grand and the Bellagio.

Both firms will initially invest $100m (£76m) in the 50-50 joint venture which they said will be based in a “major US technology hub”.

Paddy Power Betfair has already made a move into American sports gambling, purchasing fantasy sports betting site Fan Duel in May.

William Hill has a substantial sports betting business in Nevada, one of the few states where wagering on sporting events was already legal prior to the Supreme Court judgment.

The NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball had all argued against lifting the ban, saying that the move could undermine the integrity of sport.

MGM Resorts chief executive Jim Murren said: “We are proud to join forces with GVC, the largest and most dynamic global online betting operator, with existing reputable and trusted operations in the US.

“With MGM Resorts' expertise and leading position in key markets across the US, this historic partnership will be positioned to become the instant leader in technology, market access, sports relationships and brands.

“Together, we are creating a one-of-a-kind platform that we expect will dominate the US sports betting market.”

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