Analysis

Wynn ups the gears for sports and online gaming

Wynn Resorts admitted that sports betting and online gaming remained a new area for the company as it laid out its ambitions to be live in up to nine states.

Wynn Resorts has been one of the laggards among US gaming giants in sports betting and online gaming in the US but now says it is primed to make the most of its “premium” name.

As it stands, WynnBET is only available in New Jersey, but CEO Matt Maddox told analysts on a third-quarter earnings call last week that it would be live in Colorado, Michigan and Indiana in the next two quarters.

WynnBET remains a second-tier name on the Wedge Index sportsbook weighting system. As such it adds three points to the tally of gaming-friendliness points for any state it enters.

On the quiet

Wynn Resorts owns 71% of the WynnBET interactive business, which includes the BetBull business in which it originally bought a 22.5% stake in 2018.

Maddox admitted Wynn was behind the curve on sports betting. “This is a new one for us,” he said.

“We’ve been very focused on this topic for the last couple of years but we’ve been admittedly quiet about it.”

Maddox said the company had followed the path of product-first and “having scoured the earth” had bought its interest in BetBull.

“The engagement that they had with their customers was quite extraordinary,” he said. “Therefore, their KPIs were really, really good. It’s very parlay heavy.”

Heavy rollout

The betting division now consists of 150 people and with market access deals in nine states, Maddox said it is aiming at an addressable market of between $5bn-$7.5bn.

He added: “We’re learning a lot. We’ve invested $80m into that company to focus on user acquisition and continued development over the next few months.”

Craig Billings, CFO at Wynn Resorts, pointed out that the interactive business was “all about customer lifetime value and marketing spend to obtain that lifetime value.”

He pointed to the partnership deal Wynn has signed with Nascar as part of the company’s ambitious marketing plans.

Under the terms of that deal, WynnBET will collaborate with NASCAR to create and promote engaging sports betting experiences for racing fans across the U.S.

“We seeded the business with $80 million, and we’ll deploy marketing spend at scale as long as it continues driving the appropriate customer lifetime value,” said Billings.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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