Mobile sports betting at MGM Resorts International is nothing new. It has been available in Nevada for years.
But with sports betting being available in more and more jurisdictions, MGM is looking to be a player. In November, BetMGM launched in New Jersey and with a partnership with Yahoo! Sports, the company’s reach has grown exponentially.
“Our goal is to be everywhere where’s there’s legalized sports betting,” said Scott Butera, MGM’s president for interactive gaming who was a panelist at last week’s VSiN Sports Betting Summit presented by SeventySix Capital at the South Point Hotel and Casino. “Right now, we’re in Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi. We’ve always been a believer in sports and sports betting at our resorts.
“For us, BetMGM is a tremendous product to drive sports betting revenue and creating great fan experiences around sports and sports betting.”
In addition to Yahoo!, BetMGM will be available at Buffalo Wild Wings, which has over 1,200 locations in 40 states. You won’t be able to make a bet in every BWW restaurant, but you’ll be able to play free interactive games.
“Our partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings is an important development in MGM and Roar’s position as the leader in sports entertainment and betting,” said MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren back in September when the announcement was made. “With more than 1,200 sports bars across the country, Buffalo Wild Wings is firmly established as a ‘go to’ venue for sports viewing in all of its markets. Adding access to MGM’s world class properties and the BetMGM mobile app will create unique customer experiences and redefine how fans enjoy sports.”
BetMGM is also partnering with Verizon in an attempt to cross-pollinate the two companies’ brands.
Butera said with the landscape changing quickly, it’s important for his company to keep pace and be an active player. There’s lots of competition. But one thing MGM has going for it is its brand. There’s a built-in interactive program for customers to earn points through their play and redeem them for rooms, dining, entertainment and other amenities at MGM properties.
“It’s a way to bring people into our ecosystem,” Butera said of one of the advantages BetMGM offers players. “We use sports betting as a portal to lots of things. it’s an important portal. Our philosophy and our strategy is to give our customers the full breadth of the MGM product. If you’re playing with us, you can be rewarded with weekend stays at Bellagio or tickets to Lady Gaga or one of our sporting events. We have a lot of hospitality access to sporting events. Again, it’s getting that sports bettor into the MGM ecosystem.
“I think a lot of folks are spending a lot of money on bonusing and advertising dollars, things like that. We have an extensive marketing campaign. But it’s really about the product, promoting that it’s MGM Resorts. If you’re a sports bettor, you’re getting everything we offer. That’s the message we’re getting out there in order to be competitive.”
Butera said it only takes a look at the numbers around the country to see how big a component mobile betting is when it comes to sports wagering.
“Tremendous,” Butera said. “There’s a pent-up demand across the country for this. Obviously in Nevada we have a more stable environment. But even in Nevada, there have been trends responsive to mobile betting.
“In the old days, sports betting was an amenity for casinos. Today, it’s more of a business and you’re seeing it run like a business and it’s a viable business that’s about entertainment.
“Obviously, our properties are our properties, but we’re looking to have relationships in every state. Buffalo Wild Wings is a great example of that. Between our assets and our relationships with our partners, we’ll have tremendous growth.”