Could Pennsylvania Access Signal Start Of Bet365 US Push?

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Bet365 could be ramping up its US plans as the sportsbook sets its eyes on Pennsylvania sports betting through a deal with Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs Inc. announced Monday an agreement with bet365 for market access into Pennsylvania sports betting. The access is through CDI’s Presque Isle Downs & Casino.

“We are pleased to partner with a global leader in the online gaming industry,” CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen said in a statement. “Our relationship with bet365 enables us to maximize the value of our company’s sports betting and iGaming market access in Pennsylvania.”

The deal marks CDI’s latest move to exit the online sports and casino market, while it is bet365’s latest step to expand its US sports betting footprint.

Bet365 a sleeping giant in US?

Bet365 is one of the largest sportsbooks in the world but has yet to make much noise in the US. Until September when it launched in Colorado, bet365 was live in only New Jersey.

The leading UK sportsbook launched in Ohio earlier this month. In Canada, bet365 is live in Ontario sports betting.

Industry analysts are relatively split on whether it is too late for bet365 to make a major dent in US sports betting. The sportsbook has multiple partnerships with US professional sports teams, which at least indicates existing market interest and intent to establish a brand. 

Cash to burn for bet365?

Bet365 released its 2022 fiscal year report last week. Revenue for the company hit $3.4 billion, bringing its cash on hand up to $4 billion at the end of the fiscal year.

Perhaps most notable from the report is bet365’s administrative costs rose to $382.2 million. Part of those costs were to help raise “brand awareness in new markets.”

The report showed several new markets for the US, including in daily fantasy sports. Along with Ohio and Pennsylvania, bet365 is eyeing Maryland and Massachusetts.

Churchill Downs continues pullout

In February 2022, CDI announced its intent to pull out of the online sports betting and casino game. The decision came approximately a year after rebranding its BetAmerica to TwinSpires for online sports betting.

In July 2022, CDI revealed plans to sell its TwinSpires horse racing product to other sportsbooks. The Kentucky-based company since signed deals with FanDuel and DraftKings.

Since the February announcement, CDI has been shopping its market access, including transitioning its Michigan sports betting license to SI Sportsbook in September. CDI has properties and access to a variety of states, including IndianaIowa and Arizona.