Nevada casino company Boyd Gaming Corp and fantasy sports operator FanDuel Group agreed on Thursday to a strategic partnership on U.S. online and mobile sports betting apps. Boyd Gaming and FanDuel reached an agreement two and half months after the US Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which banned sports betting in 46 US states.
FanDuel is the second-largest daily fantasy sports company in the United States, with a database of over 6 million American sports gaming enthusiasts. FanDuel, which had its merger with rival DraftKings disallowed by the Securities & Exchange Commission, was bought by Paddy Power-Betfair last month.
Boyd Gaming is the owner of 12 casinos in the Las Vegas area, including 3 casino in Downtown Las Vegas. Boyd Gaming also owns 10 combined casinos in 7 US states, 2 racinos in Louisiana, and a non-gaming hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The two companies will co-brand and cross-promote their sports betting operations, though other details of the partnership were not disclosed.
Boyd Gaming & MGM Resorts Deal
On Monday, Boyd Gaming announced a separate deal with MGM Resorts International, which will increase its US market access. Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts have been partners before. When MGM Resorts was barred from New Jersey for 5 years, Boyd Gaming owned 50% of Borgata and ran the casino during that time — and later sold the 50% of Borgata back to MGM Resorts.
FanDuel’s deal with Boyd Gaming extends to MGM Resorts. That means FanDuel’s mobile sports betting technology will be used in states which MGM Resorts operates which have mobile sports betting. In the near future, that should mean that Borgata will have a mobile sports betting app, while Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Golden Strike Casino in Tunica should have FanDuel sports betting apps.
DraftKings Launces Sports Betting App
Also on Monday, longtime FanDuel rival DraftKings became the first company to launch a sports betting app in the New Jersey gaming market. The DFS companies are years ahead of the traditional bookmaker companies in US-friendly mobile sports gaming, because of their operations in the daily fantasy sports market over the past 6 to 8 years.
At the moment, Nevada is the only state to allow mobile sports betting. New Jersey, Delaware, and Mississippi allow sports betting, so they should legalize Android and IOS sports betting in the near-future. Meanwhile, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Michigan, and Connecticut lawmakers have discussed legalizing sports betting. West Virginia is the state most likely to sign a bill into law next.
Bookmaker Niche Consolidation
The Boyd Gaming/FanDuel news is just the latest instant of strategic partnerships and mergers in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision on PASPA. As bookmaker betting spreads across the United States, each of the top gaming operators are going to want to saturate the land-based, online, and mobile sportsbook markets.
Paddy Power-Betfair announced FanDuel would produce sports betting-related programming for its TVG and TVG2 networks. The New York Post announced VSiN would generate sports betting articles for their newspaper 7 days a week — and VSiN’s Brent Musburger would write two columns a week.
MGM Deals with GVC, NBA
Meanwhile, MGM Resorts announced strategic partnerships with GVC Holdings out of the Isle of Man and the National Basketball Association. The NBA deal involved official data sharing with MGM Resorts for NBA games, though the deal is considered short term, because neither side is sure how profitable such an arrangement will be.
The US sports leagues have lobbied for 1%-2% integrity fees to compensate for the added resources they will be using to police sports betting. The bookmaker companies have balked at such fees, because the leagues have claimed all along they were doing everything possible to protect the integrity of the league.
As an alternative, sports leagues have pushed for data sharing contracts, which is under the category of intellectual property. Whether the NBA-MGM Resorts deal is a harbinger of things to come — with the NFL, MLB, and other leagues signing similar deals — is still in doubt.