Adam Greenblatt has put BetMGM in a position to be profitable and will have the company self-sufficient by the second half 2023. How will Greenblatt ensure that BetMGM remains competitive in the US market for sports betting as more competitors appear?
The July update of BetMGM’s first-half performance confirms that the operator is on track to achieve profitability, as outlined in June by CEO Adam Greenblatt.
In the second half, the business will become self-sustaining. The joint venture partners MGM Resorts & Entain will not invest any additional equity beyond $150m for 2023.
Greenblatt thinks that BetMGM can operate independently and be self-sufficient if needed.
He says that BetMGM could have a sustainable state. It depends, I believe, on the speed and scale of our expansion.
New competition to squeeze BetMGM?
MGM Entain will decide if the right time has come to invest more, but there are new players on the scene. Consolidation is responsible for the loss of a few smaller brands in recent years, including PointsBet US and WynnBet.
New competitors will be arriving. Thanks to the acquisition of PointsBet US, fans can now compete in all major sports betting states. Penn Entertainment will be making a new push to take the top spot with ESPN’s support. Bet365, Hard Rock Digital, and Bally’s are still in the running.
Even the order itself is changing. DraftKings has surpassed FanDuel in recent Eilers & Krejcik statistics, putting it at the top of the US sports betting markets.
Greenblatt states that “the new entrants will be stronger than the ones who are departing.” Greenblatt says, “I’m the one who said complacency was the death of leaders. I can’t be complacent when it comes to the potential of the new entrants.”
Why the arms race hasn’t ended yet ?
He adds that “a competitive moat has been developed.”
This is not just due to the databases of players that BetMGM DraftKings FanDuel have built. The operational and product features of all the leading sites are now well-developed. The product is mature and the service operation has matured. It operates at scale in a variety of states.
The new entrants lack maturity and experience. They have big budgets and well-known brand names.
Greenblatt predicts that the heavy spending on acquisitions of old will return. Today’s leaders in the market are worried about “newcomers eating their lunch”. He is not certain that it has ever gone away.
We could have spent more on player acquisition. In fact, we found that the leaders of sports even in the summer invested significantly more money than we did in this area.
Why the availability of combinability, functionality and compatibility wins out
Greenblatt is confident even if MGM or Entain loosen their purse strings to make another push for customer acquisition, that the product and the player experience in US sports betting will win out.
Greenblatt told iGB earlier this year that availability, combinability, and functionality were the most important factors to becoming a “fifth-dan” black belt in US gambling. Two key developments, thanks to BetMGM’s parent companies, helped the company to improve its competitive advantage in the third-quarter.
MGM has a deal with Marriott International, the hotel chain. Marriott Bonvoy Members earn points for certain purchases and have access to exclusive offers, games and experiences with the operator. Customers of BetMGM Reward can convert loyalty points into Bonvoy Points.
Greenblatt says that the hotel loyalty program “is one of the biggest in the world”, with its hundreds of millions members. Greenblatt expects this to be a cost-effective way to acquire customers, and he believes it will have positive effects from 2024. This is because the BetMGM Marriott links has a wider reach.
The second is Entain’s PS200m purchase of US sports trading specialists Angstrom. This boosts functionality and combinability.
Angstrom develops trading models by starting at the bottom, including player abilities, performance of players, performance of teams, and conditions external to them. BetMGM can now offer many different types of bets and combinations of markets. He says that Angstrom allows BetMGM to provide a nearly infinite number of wagering opportunities.
If all [factors] can be understood, then the system has the capability to combine them and set their prices. BetMGM offers more interesting parlays including cross-game, in-game, and other markets.
BetMGM and its parent companies
Greenblatt says that Bonvoy and Angstrom are examples of the advantages MGM Entain and MGM have as their parent companies.
I think the critics find it convenient to point out our joint venture and claim that we will not be successful. In reality, these two examples show the exact opposite.
Greenblatt believes that these are the benefits of BetMGM’s structure. It can gain access to assets that rivals pay millions of dollars for.
Bridging gaps with omnichannel games
MGM Resorts also links BetMGM with brick-and mortar gaming. The US operator is still leading the market despite the fact that the US total market size remains relatively small, but highly profitable. In the US, its first-half share of gross gaming revenues was 27%.
BetMGM can tell you which games are the most popular, based on MGM’s firsthand experience. Greenblatt stresses that the goal is to make them all work together. After all, BetMGM’s focus is on omnichannel.
He continues, “We are really motivated to leverage a popular title from one channel in the other.” It was first operator to launch Aristocrat Buffalo games online. There are dedicated Buffalo cabinets at MGM properties.
It encourages you to visit the casino if you are a digital gamer. This is good for MGM Resorts and us as it strengthens our relationship with players.
The omnichannel vision goes further with Dual Play Roulette, which Greenblatt calls “live live dealer”, and is a part of the BetMGM system closed loop.
The on-property players can join online gamers for an omnichannel multiplayer experience. This table is one the most popular ones in the casino, and digital players love it for its uniqueness.
BetMGM replaces competition with cooperation
Greenblatt’s main role in the US is to gain a competitive advantage over his competitors. He does, however, recognise the importance of collaboration at a moment when industry critics are swarming in the US.
The expansion of gambling is being met with increasing opposition. The New York Times or Campaign for Fairer Gambling are among those who oppose the expansion of gaming. Some states, such as Ohio, have already tightened marketing regulations.
Greenblatt and colleagues in the industry are working together to improve communication about how operators protect their customers.
To promote their partnership with GameSense, the operator will take responsible gambling messages to NFL stadiums. The operator was instrumental in the creation of 12 industry-wide standards for responsible gambling. Recently, BetMGM has partnered with Kindbridge to provide telehealth to its customers.
Greenblatt declares, “I am so thrilled about this.” I think it will make a real difference for players in need. Even if the player does not have insurance, they can still attend five free sessions.
Combatting media cynicism
Greenblatt believes that the media’s cynicism is their biggest problem. Because it’s from us, the commentators tend to focus on our commercial goals. All of the positive things we do in the area of responsible galleries are therefore discounted.
He adds, “I’d like to be proud that we offer an entertainment product.” “I’m going to help those who need it, without undermining our work and its value in terms of tax dollars or jobs.”
Greenblatt is likely to see this as just another challenge. Greenblatt is not only confident about the measures BetMGM takes to protect players, but he’s also excited to improve standards in the entire industry.
It is his responsibility to ensure that the RG service works effectively, and seamlessly integrates with their gaming products. This should sound familiar. Again, the emphasis is on functionality, availability and combinability.