Wynn Resorts Strike Sports Betting Deal with BetBull
Wynn Resorts has just announced it’s going to move forward with plans to take advantage of the new and growing sports gambling market in the United States. On Thursday, a spokesperson stated in a press release that it had entered into an agreement with the European sports gambling company BetBull.
The New Sports Betting Deal
The strategic agreement will allow the European sports betting operator to participate in the growing sports betting industry in the U.S. It will combine the nationally recognized Wynn Resorts brand with the capability and technology of BetBull’s digital sports gambling operations. As part of the deal, Wynn Resorts will purchase 22.5 percent of BetBull.
More about Wynn Resorts
Wynn Resorts has sports betting exclusively based at its properties in Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas and Wynn Las Vegas, in addition to a mobile betting product powered by Miomni. The company is also working on a $2.4 billion Encore Boston Harbor development in Massachusetts, even though MA doesn’t yet have legal sports betting. The casino is expected to open in mid-2019 despite not yet having an operating license.
To date, Wynn doesn’t have any casinos in other states, so the deal means that the partners are hoping that Wynn will be able to move into areas where the casino has no brick-and-mortar operations.
Controversy with Wynn
Steve Wynn was forced to resign in 2017 over sexual harassment allegations. The company is very likely hoping that people won’t remember these details as they work to grow their reputation. Wynn agreed to a private settlement for $7.5 million in the sexual harassment claim, and when those details came out, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission had a hearing to look into the report, saying that this was a huge issue for them in considering Wynn’s application to operate in the state.
The director of the MGC’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau, Karen Wells, said that there was no formal litigation or court action and that Wynn Resorts didn’t advise MGC investigators that there were any problems with the company. She said “steps were taken to keep [evidence of the settlement] from the public domain” and that none of the officials from Wynn had said anything about the settlement during the casino license suitability hearings in 2013.
As a result of these allegations coming to light, Wynn Resorts shares dropped 36.2 percent.
Who is BetBull?
BetBull, founded in 2015, has a presence in the UK and Malta, while not a well-known operator in Europe, is backed by many prominent investors. The company has been looking to expand into the United States and found a suitable partner for this growth.
Sports Betting in Massachusetts
Sports gambling isn’t yet legal in Massachusetts aside from simulcast betting on dog and horse racing. Directly following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the federal ban on sports betting outside of Nevada, Governor Charlie Baker said the state needs a framework before the state could legalize sports betting. He’s not against the idea, though, and he believes that they should look further into this potential revenue opportunity.
Legislators in the state seem to be open to the prospect of legalization, and have spoken out in favor. In June, Massachusetts representative Joseph Wagner made the following comments about the state’s plan moving forward:
“We will get about the work of this quickly so that when we do convene for the 2019-2020 session we can be ready to go. That would be the hope and the potential game plan…The approach here is to move this to the front burner but to not move so quickly that we get it wrong.”
Wynn is banking on the state moving forward with its sports betting legislation so that it will be ready to jump into the market with both a physical and online presence.
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