Bet On It: Competition Starting To Heat Up North Of The Border

This week in the sports betting and iGaming space a dry summer is expected for sports betting and new partnerships form.


New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement reported total gaming revenue for June was $392.8M, compared to $97.6M in June 2020, reflecting a 302.7% increase. Internet gaming win was $107.1M in June, compared to $84.9M in the prior period, reflecting an increase of 26.1%. Sports wagering gross revenue was $71.3M for the month. Casino win for June was $214.5M. The NJ DGE noted: "Due to COVID-19, Atlantic City casinos closed at 8:00 PM on March 16, 2020. Internet casino gaming and Online sports wagering operations continued, however, most sports wagering events were cancelled beginning in mid-March 2020. As a result, casino win and sports wagering revenue for the month and the year-to-date period ended June 2021 are not comparable to 2020. Additionally, the Atlantic City casino hotel properties continue to operate under certain COVID-19 restrictions since reopening in July 2020."

Play NJ noted that online and retail sportsbooks took in $766.9M in bets in June, according to official data released Friday. That is down 5.8% from $814.3M in May, but up from $117.8M in June 2020. June's action yielded $71.3M in gross gaming revenue, the most in operator revenue since sportsbooks posted a record $82.6M in January. Operator revenue was up 34.7% from $52.9M in May and up exponentially over $12.6M in June 2020. All told, June's betting yielded $10.5M in state and local taxes. In total, 89.1%, or $734.7M, of June's handle came through an online operator. FanDuel (PDYPY) Sportsbook/PointsBet commanded the market lead once again with $38.1M in gross revenue, up from $29.8M in May. Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks continued to benefit from loosening restrictions with $83.9M wagers in June, up from $79.6M in May. Meadowlands/FanDuel led all retail books with $6.4M in revenue in June.

Scientific Games (SGMS) announced that it has submitted to the board of directors of SciPlay (SCPL) a proposal for Scientific Games to acquire the remaining 19% equity interest in SciPlay that it does not currently own in an all-stock transaction, following which SciPlay would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scientific Games. In its letter proposing the transaction, Scientific Games said SciPlay shareholders, other than SGMS and its subsidiaries, would receive 0.250 shares of SGMS common stock for each share of SciPlay Class A common stock they own, which would imply an enterprise value of $1.9B and purchase multiple of 2021E consensus EBITDA of 10.1x and 2022E consensus EBITDA of 9.4x.

"The transaction implies a premium of 11% based on the SGMS and SciPlay respective closing stock prices as of the close of business on July 14, 2021, the last trading day prior to the proposal, and a premium of 10% based on the thirty-day volume weighted average price for SciPlay Class A common stock. We believe a merger of SGMS and SciPlay will deliver significant operational, strategic and financial benefits and drive shareholder value in excess of what each company could generate on a standalone basis. Further, we believe SciPlay public shareholders will benefit from increased trading liquidity as a result of being part of a pro forma entity with a market capitalization of $7.0 billion - based on the closing share prices of SGMS and SciPlay on July 14, 2021 - and a public float that would be approximately 18x larger than SciPlay today. Through our existing collaboration with SciPlay, we believe a transaction would be seamless and we look forward to fully joining forces with SciPlay's talented leadership team and employees to continue innovating on behalf of customers and players," said Scientific Games. 

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) announced an effort which will see the company become a strategic investor in digital gaming technologies focused primarily in the business-to-business space. As part of this effort, the company is building a digital gaming investment team, which will be led by Davis Catlin. Catlin is joining Sands after fourteen years with an investment firm. "Sands is determined to grow its leadership position within the industry and is committed to doing that through strategic steps we think best position the company for future growth," said Robert Goldstein, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. "Digital gaming and other related offerings are still very much in the early stages of development, and we believe there is an outstanding opportunity for us to invest in the technologies being developed."


In a sector update research note to investors, Truist analyst Barry Jonas noted total May sports betting gross gaming revenue was down 5% month-over-month, a continued decrease since a strong March, on NBA/NHL/MLB regular season, NBA/NHL playoffs, the PGA Championship and the Kentucky Derby. On the other hand, iGaming gross gaming revenue rose 3% from the prior month and stayed above $300M for the third straight month. Jonas told investors that early June sports betting results are mixed, and he continues to believe the rest of the summer will be relatively in-line until the seasonal pickup sparked by football in the fall.

The analyst said sports betting-related stocks continue to tumble, reflecting ongoing inflation concerns and some seasonality. Despite the dip, he highlighted buy-rated Bally's (BALY), Penn National (PENN) and Caesars (CZR). FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM (MGM) continue to lead most markets. New Jersey June online gross gaming revenue from the FanDuel and DraftKings licenses accounted for 62% and 20%, respectively, with BetMGM's license in third at 10%. In Pennsylvania, FanDuel/DraftKings accounted for 40%/25% of handle share in June, with Penn's Barstool Sportsbook at 11% and BetMGM at 8%. FanDuel still leads in Michigan at 32%, said Jonas.


  • BetMGM and The Pittsburgh Pirates announced a new partnership that will include BetMGM branding throughout PNC Park, fan-focused promotions, social media content and more.
  • WynnBET (WYNN) announced on Thursday its first partnership with an NFL team through a multi-year sponsorship with the Detroit Lions. As part of the agreement, the Lions will designate WynnBET as an official sportsbook and gaming partner of the team and house the "WynnBET Sports Bar at Ford Field."
  • Genius Sports (GENI) entered a new strategic partnership with Mediapro Canada, an independent broadcast services, rights distribution and production company. The companies said the agreement will help grow the domestic and international addressable market for Canadian soccer, through Genius Sports' official data, streaming and marketing solutions.
  • Prophet, a New Jersey-based sports betting exchange founded in 2018 by Dean Sisun, CEO and Jake Benzaquen, COO, has announced a multi-year market access agreement with Caesars. The agreement with Caesars will see Prophet launch its peer-to-peer sports betting exchange,, initially in New Jersey for the 2021 NFL and college football season, and Indiana in 2022, before future rollouts to additional U.S. states.
  • DraftKings (DKNG) announced that it has received a Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS, license from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and its daily fantasy sports product will soon be live in approved parishes in Louisiana.


Operators across the country are gearing up for a push into Canada with sports betting legalization on the horizon. The Nevada Independent's Howard Stutz reported that Nevada operators all have plans for a piece of Canada's $4B-$5B in projected annual wages. Reportedly, BetMGM's partnership with hockey legend Wayne Gretzsky is thought to give the company an edge in appealing to the sports betting market up north. Notably, Caesars Windsor Casino Resort in Ontario is assumed to be a factor as it is less than a 10-minute drive from downtown Detroit. Stutz also noted that WynnBet and BallyBet could be seeking Canadian expansion. “We get the sense that there will be multiple operators, though the final tally is not clear and will vary by jurisdiction,” J.P. Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff told the Nevada Independent. “We expect most U.S. operators will ramp up efforts to expand into the market, as will (the) hometown team, theScore (SCR).”


CLSA analyst Jonathan Galligan upgraded Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MLCO) to Buy from Outperform with a $19.96 price target. The analyst has "low expectations" for Macau Gaming's Q2 results, but says this is likely already priced into stocks. Galligan upgraded the shares following the recent pullback. On the other end of the spectrum, HSBC analyst Charlene Liu downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy with a price target of $16.90, down from $21.10. The analyst says the gradual uptick in Macau gross gaming revenue from the Hong Kong re-opening appears priced into shares. Sands China (SCHYY) remains Liu's preferred name in the sector.

In the middle, Citi analyst George Choi lowered the firm's price target on Melco Resorts & Entertainment to $24.50 from $26 and maintained a Buy rating on the shares. The analyst opened a "30-day positive Catalyst Watch" on the shares as his forecasts suggest that Melco is the operator with the most EBITDA improvement amongst the six Macau gaming operators during Q2. As soon as travel restrictions are lifted, EBITDA should "return swiftly" to pre-Covid levels, Choi tells investors in a research note. He anticipates Macau's industry EBITDA to continue to recover in Q2, thanks to the continued improvement in Premium Mass.

Disclaimer: TheFly's news is intended for informational purposes only and does not claim to be actionable for investment decisions. Read more at  more

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