BetMGM Sportsbook to Go Live in Ten More States in 2021, Says MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle

  • In a statement Wednesday, Bill Hornbuckle said BetMGM will be live in 20 states by 2022
  • MGM continued to struggle financially in Q4 2020 with revenue down 53%, $364m operating loss 
  • Despite losses, Hornbuckle expressed confidence in recovery partly through BetMGM expansion
  • MGM recently attempted to acquire BetMGM partner Entain, but the $11bn bid was unsuccessful
Map labeled as New Markets with green pin
Sportsbook BetMGM is set to go live in ten more states this year, according to MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle. [Image:]

Maintaining the momentum

Sportsbook and iGaming brand BetMGM experienced a busy 2020. It launched in seven new states over the course of the year, adding three more states last month. That expansion is far from slowing down, according to MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle.

BetMGM’s mobile sports betting app, jointly owned by MGM Resorts and Entain, is currently available in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. In a statement Wednesday, Hornbuckle said BetMGM will be available in 20 markets by the end of 2021. He did not specify which ten states BetMGM would expand into.

the operator’s revenue fell 60% year-on-year, to a total of $5.2bn

Hornbuckle’s statement accompanied MGM’s fourth-quarter and full-year results for 2020. Last year, the operator’s revenue fell 60% year-on-year, to a total of $5.2bn. Despite the decline, Hornbuckle praised the performance of BetMGM, which he said “gained significant market share” throughout the difficult year.

A 2020 to forget

The coronavirus pandemic severely impacted MGM throughout 2020, creating significant financial losses through casino closures and restrictions.

This impact continued into the year’s fourth quarter. According to its latest trading update, the casino operator generated $1.5bn in the period, a drop of 53% year-on-year, while operating loss totaled $364m. For the full year, Las Vegas properties posted a revenue drop of 66%, Macau 58%, and all other US locations 34%.

MGM employees have felt the full weight of the casino operator’s financial difficulties. Altogether, MGM furloughed almost 63,000 workers in 2020. The company permanently let go of 18,000 US-based employees in August, adding another 1,172 workers to this list three months later. Just last month, MGM furloughed 140 of its Vegas-based managers. The company blamed continued low business volumes as a result of the pandemic.

Despite a difficult 2020, Hornbuckle outlined a positive outlook for 2021 in Wednesday’s statement. He expressed confidence in the company’s long-term recovery as restrictions continue to ease. The executive said maintaining a strong balance sheet and continuing BetMGM’s expansion would be key to future recovery. In January, the company also reaffirmed its commitment to the Macau market.

BetMGM buyout thwarted

MGM and Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings, first partnered in July 2018 in an attempt to expand into the US sports betting industry. The two companies formed Roar Digital in January 2019, which eventually became sportsbook brand BetMGM.

MGM made a second and final offer of $11bn

At the beginning of 2021, MGM Resorts offered to acquire UK-based Entain, partly in an attempt to take full control of the BetMGM business. After Entain rejected a $10bn bid outright, MGM made a second and final offer of $11bn. Despite the $1bn increase, Entain said the total still “significantly undervalues the Company and its prospects.”

MGM announced on January 19 it would not be revising its bid, instead reaffirming its dedication to the joint venture. In a statement, Hornbuckle said MGM remained “committed to working with Entain to ensure BetMGM’s strong momentum.”

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