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Volume 21 No. 13
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Players to know in sports wagering

As leagues, bookmakers and bettors await the Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA, companies are positioning themselves for the broadened legalization of sports betting. While preparation for some of these companies began years ago — William Hill U.S., for example, in 2013 struck a partnership with Monmouth Park in New Jersey to operate a sportsbook at the horse track — the landscape has become more complex as sports leagues and daily fantasy companies angle for a slice of the revenue.

 

Here’s a look at a few companies — bookmakers, data providers, lobbying groups — that figure to help shape the sports betting industry upon legalization.

 

SPORTSBOOKS

 

WILLIAM HILL

In 2012, William Hill became the first U.K.-based bookmaker to be granted a license to operate in the United States. Branded William Hill U.S., the company’s American division offers sports wagering at 108 locations throughout Nevada, including full-service sports books at Las Vegas casinos such as Binion’s and the Plaza, as well as at kiosks throughout the state. William Hill U.S. also has a mobile app for betting.

Key executives: CEO Philip Bowcock; William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher

Headquarters: Global, London; U.S., Las Vegas

Revenue: $2.4 billion, according to the 2017 annual report, up 7 percent from the prior year, with adjusted operating profit of $411 million.

Operations: In addition to its 108 Nevada locations, William Hill U.S. serves as the risk management consultant for Delaware’s Sports Lottery (parlay cards). Its deal at Monmouth Park in New Jersey includes an agreement to operate the horse track’s sportsbook, as well as title sponsorship of the sports bar at the facility.

 

CG TECHNOLOGY

In 2016, CG, the sports betting arm of financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, agreed to a $22.5 million settlement for its role in an illegal gambling and money laundering scheme. The company, from 2009 through 2012 when it was branded Cantor Gaming, was found to have knowingly accepted bets from an illegal bookmaking network, nicknamed the “Jersey Boys.” The case resulted in the 2012 arrest of vice president of risk Mike Colbert, as well as the forced resignation of CEO Lee Amaitis.

Key executive: Parikshat Khanna, who joined the company in 2010 as operations manager, was promoted to CEO in February 2017.

Headquarters: Las Vegas

Revenue: CG is privately owned. No revenue information was available.

Operations: Nevada sportsbooks operated by CG include Penn National Gaming’s Las Vegas casinos — M Resort and the Tropicana. Penn operates casinos and racetracks in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. CG also operates the sportsbooks at Vegas’ Venetian, Hard Rock, Cosmopolitan and Palms.

 

CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT

Founded nearly eight decades ago in Reno, Nev., Caesars Entertainment counts Bally’s, Harrah’s and Horseshoe among its hotel/casino brands, in addition to its flagship Caesars brand. In Las Vegas, the company has the Cromwell, Flamingo, The Linq, Paris and Planet Hollywood.

Key executives: President and CEO Mark Frissora; Director, Specialty Games, Frank Kunovic

Headquarters: Las Vegas

Revenue: Operating income in 2017 was $532 million on revenue of $4.85 billion.

Operations: Caesars Entertainment’s national reach stretches to casinos and gaming operations in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It also owns the World Series of Poker tournament and brands and has properties in Canada, Egypt, England and South Africa.

 

MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL

The largest employer in Nevada, MGM Resorts International owns properties along the Las Vegas Strip that include MGM Grand, The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, Luxor, New York-New York, Excalibur and Circus Circus. The company’s Park MGM property — formerly Monte Carlo — is the casino closest to the city’s new 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena. As the operator of all these Strip properties, MGM Resorts is the sportsbook that caters to the average Las Vegas tourist, whereas the Wynn attracts more high-rollers, and the South Point brings in locals.

Key executives: Chairman and CEO Jim Murren; VP Race and Sports, Jay Rood

Headquarters: Las Vegas

Revenue: $10.8 billion, and domestic resorts net revenue of $8.3 billion, an 18 percent increase over 2017.

Operations: Beyond Nevada, MGM has resorts in Mississippi, Maryland, New Jersey and Michigan.

 

INTEGRITY

 

SPORTRADAR

Sportradar collects and distributes data to leagues, bookmakers and media companies. Its foray into the U.S. was boosted by a $44 million round of funding from Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis in 2015.

Key executives: Founder and CEO Carsten Koerl; Deputy President, Sportradar U.S., Laila Mintas.

Headquarters: St. Gallen, Switzerland. It was founded in 2000 in Trondheim, Norway. Its U.S. subsidiary, Sportradar US, is based in Minneapolis.

Revenue: $250 million in 2016.

Operations: Working with properties that include FIFA and NBA, Sportradar’s Integrity Services division monitors odds movement and betting patterns.

 

GENIUS SPORTS

Genius Sports, which launched as a brand in 2015, supplies betting technology to sportsbooks and collects and distributes data in partnership with properties such as MLB, the PGA Tour, ATP and WTA, as well as FIBA and the English Premier League and La Liga.

Key executive: CEO Mark Locke

Headquarters: London

Revenue: According to a report released in June 2016, revenue of $45.3 million with EBITDA of $6.7 million.

Operations: Beyond its London base, Genius Sports has 16 other locations around the world. The company refuses to do business with bookmakers in the Caribbean, which say they are regulated but accept bets illegally from the U.S.

 

OTHERS

 

AMERICAN GAMING ASSOCIATION

Positioning itself as the premier national advocacy group for the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, the American Gaming Association is at the forefront of the push for the legalization of sports betting. Subscribing to the “rising tide lifts all ships” mantra, the AGA says the national expansion of gaming will be to Las Vegas’ benefit.

Key executive: President and CEO Geoff Freeman

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

Operations: Founded in 1994, the AGA pegs its messaging to major national sports events that generate into the billions of dollars of wagers, some legally but mostly illegally. On Super Bowl Sunday this past February, the group launched a marketing campaign emphasizing “the need to end the federal ban on sports betting.” As March Madness was getting underway, the AGA trumpeted its research that only 3 percent of the $10 billion bet on the NCAA Tournament would be done so legally.

 

BD STADIA

Formed about six years ago as part of BD Sport Group, BD Stadia provides the operational and logistical pieces for in-stadium betting at multiple venues throughout the U.K. BD Stadia acts as a liaison between teams and bookmakers. In March 2017, BD Sport Group was acquired by Gaming Nation for $12.4 million in cash with provisions for another $3.1 million.

Key executive: BD Sport co-founder and joint managing director Tony Warwick

Headquarters: Lancashire, U.K.

Revenue: BD Sport Group, $6.1 million in revenue in the year prior to the acquisition with EBITDA of $1.83 million.

Operations: BD Stadia counts Betfair, Bodog, sportingbet, Mansion and 12Bet.com among its bookmaking clients, and services the facilities of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal. The company has about 600 employees working at stadiums. Last September, BD Stadia announced an expansion of its partnership with William Hill, under which the bookmaker was given access to open new betting shops inside stadiums of Stoke City, Huddersfield, Queens Park Rangers, Preston North End, Bradford and Bolton.