MGM Resorts Reveals Plans for Global Expansion of Online Operations

  • MGM Resorts is moving more toward an asset-light business model
  • Its only plans for non-US land-based gaming operations are in Japan and Macau
  • The company has been selling some physical assets and non-gaming aspects of the business
  • BetMGM’s current focus is on the United States online gambling market
MGM Resorts International office
MGM Resorts International is transitioning to an asset-light business model and plans to expand BetMGM outside of the United States. [Image:]

Revealing a new business model

MGM Resorts International has revealed its plans to expand its online gambling operations across the world. It was during the Bank of America Securities 2021 Gaming and Lodging Conference on Thursday that MGM Resorts International chief financial officer Jonathan Halkyard outlined some of these plans.

more of an emphasis on gaming operations as opposed to ownership

Halkyard spoke about how the company is looking to move toward an asset-light approach that would see it putting more of an emphasis on gaming operations as opposed to ownership. It also wants to continually expand the BetMGM online gambling operations.

There is seemingly a lack of attractive land-based casino resort opportunities around the world, except for in Macau and Japan. MGM Resorts currently controls MGM China, which operates the MGM Cotai and MGM Macau. The company also hopes to develop a casino resort in Osaka, Japan.

Focusing its efforts

Halkyard said that MGM wants to be the most trusted and best-known brand in the gaming space. He referred to the long-term outlook for BetMGM, an online venture jointly owned with Entain Plc. The company wants to put in place an omnichannel strategy that would see worldwide online customers join the M life Rewards program, allowing them to earn points and rewards through their online activity.

they’re all small but they take financial resources and management resources”

Finally, Halkyard spoke about how MGM Resorts has been moving away from non-gaming aspects of the brand. It has shut down and unwound some of these types of investments. He said: “They’re all small but they take financial resources and management resources, so we’re getting out of those.”

The company recently entered a deal to sell MGM Growth Properties LLC to the VICI Properties Inc. real estate investment trust in a deal worth $17.2bn. MGM Resorts will offload 15 properties in the transaction, including the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay casino resorts in Las Vegas.

Significant online operations in the US

BetMGM currently operates solely in the mainland United States, though it recently announced that it has gotten market access in Puerto Rico. BetMGM co-owner Entain Plc owns numerous global online gambling brands, so it has a lot of experience when it comes to expanding into new markets outside of the US mainland.

At the moment, BetMGM has online sportsbooks live in a dozen US states and retail operations and market access deals in other regions. The operator also has online casinos and poker sites up and running in numerous states.

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