Wynn Resorts Ltd is buying a 22.5-percent stake in European sports betting company BetBull Ltd that the casino firm says will help it build a presence in the United States sport-betting market. BetBull would benefit from the power of the Wynn brand derived from land-based casino gaming, said the casino firm.
In a written announcement issued on Thursday, Wynn Resorts said it would own a fully diluted share in BetBull.
The latter is said to offer free-to-play “game mechanics” and to tap into consumers’ liking for social media-style communication.
The announcement neither mentioned the consideration involved in the deal, nor gave more detail on Wynn Resorts’ plan to expand into the U.S. betting industry outside of casinos. A handful of U.S. states have legalised widespread sports betting this year, including New Jersey and Delaware. More are likely to follow according to some investment analysts.
Wynn Resorts runs casinos in Las Vegas and is building its first U.S. casino outside of Nevada in the northeastern state of Massachusetts. Wynn’s interests in Macau include Wynn Macau on that city’s peninsula, and Wynn Palace in Cotai, operated by the group’s Hong Kong-listed unit. Wynn Macau Ltd, is operated by Wynn Resorts.
The Wynn organisation has expressed interest in running a casino in Japan once casino gambling is legalised there.
Wynn already runs sports betting operations in Las Vegas but the BetBull acquisition would allow the company to expand its footprint outside Nevada and positions the organisation for any expansion of the U.S. gaming market.
In Macau, second-quarter net profit at Wynn Macau Ltd grew by 56.2 percent in year-on-year terms, to about US$160.3 million, the firm announced at the start of August.
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“The key focus is digging ourselves, together with the other five operators, out of hole that Macau has been in for the last three years”
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman of casino operator Melco Resorts