The relaxing of gambling laws in the US has opened up plenty of opportunities for bookmakers in the UK, and the parent company of Coral and Ladbrokes could have struck gold with a new link-up on American soil.
GVC Holdings, who own those two UK-facing brands, have penned a deal with MGM Resorts International, one of the US’s premier gambling firms, to help create a sportsbook aimed at punters in the United States.
The tie-up will cost an estimated £150m, and see the UK brand enter the market across the pond for the first time.
GVC’s and MGM’s Special Relationship
MGM Resorts’ CEO, Jim Murren, said: “We are proud to join forces with GVC, the largest and most dynamic global online betting operator, with existing reputable and trusted operations in the US.
“With MGM Resorts’ expertise and leading position in key markets across the US this historic partnership will be positioned to become the instant leader in technology, market access, sports relationships and brands.
“Together, we are creating a one-of-a-kind platform that we expect to dominate the US sports betting market.”
It’s a move that will see the newly-formed firm explore ‘a range of land-based and digital gambling opportunities’, which suggests that if you visit an MGM casino property you may just be able to have a sports bet as well – assuming the state you are in has legalized sports betting, of course.
‘The new venture will have exclusive access to all US land-based and online sports betting, online real money and free-to-play casino gaming, major tournament and online poker, and other similar future interactive businesses,’ read a press release.
MGM owns many famous names in the industry, including the MGM Grand and the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The Watershed Moment
It was back in May that the US Supreme Court overturned an age-old act, known as PASPA, which essentially outlawed sports betting in the vast majority of states in the country.
This was appealed by New Jersey, most prominently, and the court agreed that the block on punting was unconstitutional.
Since then, UK betting brands have been trying to work their way into the US market, with many states already legalising sports betting on their soil or at least planning to do in the coming months.
The Paddy Power/Betfair group has also been busy, putting down roots in the US and launching the TVG television network. They have also acquired the daily fantasy sports outfit FanDuel, who are looking to offer sports betting in the near future.
Stars, Stripes & Betslips
There are now four states where you can legally place your sports bets: Nevada, which has long had sportsbooks in Las Vegas, Delaware, New Jersey – who have been the chief architects of legal sports betting in America, and this week Mississippi became the latest to accept wagers on sports great and small.
The next cabs off the rank are expected to be West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island even New York, with the Big Apple looking to boost its economy yet further with legalised sports betting.
So the next time a loved one drags you off to NYC for a shopping and sightseeing trip, you might be able to nip into a Coral or Ladbrokes shop to get your bets on!