Hometown entrant Wynn plans to make a strong push in Massachusetts sports betting with WynnBet Sportsbook.
During Wynn’s second-quarter earnings call Tuesday, executives said legalization of MA sports betting gives WynnBet a home-field advantage. While the company announced plans to scale back its Wynn Interactive spending last year, it intends to compete for market share in Massachusetts more than it has in other markets.
In its Q1 earnings call earlier this year, Wynn pinned its future interactive growth on sports betting in Massachusetts. Wynn already built out a retail sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor, which could open before mobile betting starts in Massachusetts.
“We are looking forward to the potential for a significant catalyst for WynnBet in Massachusetts both in digital and retail sports betting,” Wynn CEO Craig Billings said during Tuesday’s call.
WynnBet plans to spend in Massachusetts
Billings said operators with a brick-and-mortar presence in a jurisdiction often have a solid overall market presence. That “warrants prioritizing Massachusetts,” he said on the call.
While WynnBet’s marketing spend dropped since last year, Billings expects expenses to go up for user acquisition in Massachusetts.
However, he said, “I don’t think we’ll ever be back in the position that we were in at the launch of last NFL season.”
The company reportedly investigated selling its sports betting business entirely last year.
Encouraged by industry marketing trends
Wynn Interactive’s EBITDA burn rate declined to $21 million in the second quarter. That is down from $32 million in the first quarter as the company continues to scale back its marketing, which itself was down more than 50% from the prior quarter as the company started slashing promotional expenses.
A light sports calendar resulted in a 3% quarter-over-quarter decline in handle to $704 million. Billings said he is encouraged by the overall trend of operators starting to spend less aggressively.
“Since last year, we talked a little bit about what we were seeing in the market and some of the irrationality that we were seeing in the market,” Billings said. “I can say that that has markedly declined, and that’s encouraging. So to see other players in the market behaving reasonably well is great.”
WynnBet continues new launches, responsible spending
Noting overall industry spending trends, Billings said WynnBet will continue to open new states. WynnBet is live in nine states and has market access to 18.
Moving forward, Billings said Wynn will look for “increased retention, decreased CPA and increased handle per customer.” Billings also told analysts not to get tied up in forecasting future spending based on Massachusetts.
“The trend should be down with the exception of a few quarters that we might do some user acquisition in Massachusetts as the market opens,” he said.
Other operators with Boston connections
Securing significant market share in Massachusetts will not be easy, however, as Wynn is not alone in claiming home connections to the state. Perhaps most notable is DraftKings, which is headquartered in Boston.
Barstool started in Boston and maintains strong brand presence in the city. Barstool Sportsbook’s parent, Penn Entertainment also owns Plainridge Park Casino.
BetMGM will also have a retail outlet with MGM Springfield.