Wynn Resorts has invested $80 million in a reorganized joint venture with BetBull, a UK-based social sports betting operator, to offer online sports betting services in the United States. The move by the Nevada-based gaming company was made to capitalize on the fast-growing US online gambling market.
The merger between the two entities formed “Wynn Interactive” in October after Wynn acquired BetBull for an undisclosed price. Wynn Resorts holds 71% of Wynn Interactive and aims to combine its nationally recognized brand with BetBull’s digital sports betting operational capabilities and technology.
The two companies collaborated on sports betting in October 2018 when Wynn Resorts acquired a 22.5% share in the betting firm. The latest development will see Wynn acquiring the whole business by melting down the BetBull entity into Wynn Interactive. The initial launch plans will cover Colorado, Michigan, and Indiana by 2021.
What is BetBull?
The British company describes itself as a social sports betting community. The bettors can find and place wagers alongside friends and groups before cheering on bets in a chat room.
According to Wynn CEO Matt Maddox, the company initially partnered with BetBull as it wanted to prioritize the product. He said the founder of the British company was a great cultural fit. “They founded Bwin and Party and understand this intimately. Besides, they built a product in their country that was really very social.”
While appreciating the extraordinary engagement with which BetBull could draw its customers, Maddox said the popularity of the betting company could be owed to its socializing aspect. “When you see your friend making a wager, it will pop up your smartphone. Do you want to follow your friend? It’s very parlay heavy.”
Big Plans for Wynn Interactive
The company contains around 150 people, with market access in nine states. According to Wynn CEO, discussions are underway to have access to another seven states. For now, Wynn plans to expand to Colorado, Michigan, and Indiana in the next few months. If all goes as planned, Wynn Interactive could soon cover half the US sports betting market.
Wynn Resorts jumped into the US online gambling market in August after launching WynnBet in New Jersey. Wynn CEO recently admitted that online betting and gaming is fairly new for the company.
He said the company had been “quiet about it” and preferred to focus on product first when it came to online sports betting. “We scoured the earth and found a company in the UK called BetBull,” said Maddox.
Wynn Interactive currently generates approximately $20 million in revenue, mostly through BetBull. It will increase significantly as Wynn Bet launches in other states. The increased focus on internet sports betting comes with Wynn Resorts facing losses on its land-based properties in the US and Macau.
Third Quarter Report
On Thursday, Wynn reported financial results for the third quarter that drastically fell short of expert’s estimates due to lack of business in the Macau market. Las Vegas also presented a dismal economic outlook with revenue and profit, which reflected a decline from last year. Wynn’s Boston-area resort, however, represented optimism with the most profitable quarter since its opening.
Overall, operating revenues stood at around $370.5 million for the third quarter of this year, a decrease of 77.5%, or $1.28 billion, from $1.65 billion for the same period last year. Net loss attributable to the company was $758.1 million for the third quarter of 2020, compared to a net loss of $3.5 million in the third quarter of 2019.