Entain — the company behind the BetMGM platform in the US — and Verizon have teamed up to develop sports betting experiences using the latest digital technologies such as virtual reality and 5G.
The two companies will start a so-called “innovation alliance” by developing a virtual reality experience where viewers come together to watch a sporting event and potentially place some in-play wagers.
Here’s Entain CEO Shay Segev: “We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially, compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players.”
Entain recently rebranded from GVC Holdings. The corporate overhaul saw the company attempt to position itself as part of the wider sports/media/technology landscape rather than an out and out gambling operator.
What else is in the ‘innovation agreement?’
The two companies will also look into how sports betting could be helped by 5G and augmented reality.
“Along with betting on the Entain platforms on live streaming sports events, the goal is to create realistic, immersive experiences for sports fans, such as being in the stadium, participating in play, competing and betting on outcomes on the Entain platforms,” the company said in a statement.
Verizon runs 5G-enabled production studios in Los Angeles and London, where much of the project will be carried out.
Expanded partnership for Entain and Verizon
Verizon and Entain of course already work together via Verizon’s Yahoo Sports. That acts as a major acquisition channel for BetMGM.
The companies recently revamped the underlying mechanics so Yahoo Sports customers could bet with BetMGM without leaving the Yahoo app.
Verizon CEO Guru Gowrappan said the new agreement would focus on content and entertainment as well as betting.
“Together, we are building the next-generation of content experiences for sports and gaming fans,” said Gowrappan.
BetMGM is on track to be the third largest operator in US sports betting in the eyes of some.