BetMGM Growing As Contender For Sports Betting Medal Stand

Posted on February 12, 2021
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Written By on February 12, 2021

BetMGM went from being live in three states to start 2020 to 10 at the end of the year, with “sustainable” leadership positions.

That’s according to MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle, who gave the joint venture with Entain significant attention during MGM’s year-end earnings call Wednesday.

BetMGM closed 2020 with $178 million in net revenue, beating its targeted range of $150 million to $160 million. That doesn’t mean it’s profitable, of course: the JV lost $114 million last year, split between Entain and MGM.

Those revenues should grow “well over 100%” compared to last year, meaning at least $356 million in net revenue. BetMGM got a nice start in January toward that goal with $44 million in net revenue.

It sounds like MGM and Entain investors shouldn’t be looking for a profit from the JV anytime soon, though. Marketing costs will “correspond with such acceleration in revenues” this year, MGM said in its investor presentation.

BetMGM is a ‘top #3 leader’

MGM broke out BetMGM’s market share for iGaming, online sports betting and retail sports betting as it called the brand a “top #3 leader” in publicly reported states.

Based on BetMGM assumptions, it’s the top sportsbook by market share in Tennessee and second in Colorado, according to gaming consultancy Eilers & Krejcik.

It takes the third spot in Indiana, New Jersey and West Virginia. MGM specifically broke out details on sports betting in New Jersey to show its growth in its most mature market:

  • Third in online betting market share, up from fifth in January 2020. BetMGM took 11% of online sports betting revenue in December.
  • Handle grew 319% in the fourth quarter compared to Q4 2019.
  • Average monthly active customers rose 37% in the fourth quarter compared to the prior year.

MGM didn’t break out any data on the recent launches in Pennsylvania or Virginia. BetMGM launched in Pennsylvania in December and made its Virginia debut Jan. 27.

Michigan, Tennessee launches show ‘early momentum’

Hornbuckle and BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt both stressed how important it is for BetMGM to be live when a new market opens. That was emphasized with specific data from both Tennessee sports betting, and iGaming and sports betting in Michigan.

In Tennessee, BetMGM took 34% of the state’s fourth-quarter gaming revenue, with that revenue growing 41% in January compared to December. The sportsbook took $70 million in bets and saw $13 million in deposits during January.

Greenblatt explained why he thought deposits was an important data point:

“That’s important, because that’s the fuel. No deposits, no ability to wager, no ability to play. … The moment of truth is our players actually putting hard-earned money into an account to play with us, rather than it being purely bonus money, incentive money. And so, the importance of that $13 million is it demonstrates the scale of fuel to drive [net gaming revenue.]”

Nevada Super Bowl outage was ‘human error’

BetMGM had a record online day for Super Bowl 55, according to Hornbuckle. The sportsbook had 11 times more bets and 17 times the handle compared to last year’s Super Bowl.

MGM didn’t break out retail figures, but they were likely not as exciting after an outage took BetMGM’s Nevada retail and online systems down before and during the game.

That outage was the “unfortunate result of a human error” and has been addressed, Greenblatt said.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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