CEO Cites BetMGM & Sports Betting As Keys To 2021 Growth

CEO Cites BetMGM & Sports Betting As Keys To 2021 Growth
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MGM Chief Executive Officer Bill Hornbuckle foresees a bright future for the company’s joint venture sports betting subsidiary, BetMGM.

That vision was on full display during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, as Hornbuckle expressed confidence in the three-year-old operation’s future.

Hornbuckle cited the fact that BetMGM’s revenue has increased ninefold, from $5.2 million to $45.9 million, between the second quarter of 2020 through June 30, as proof that the sports betting apparatus could generate substantial revenue for the company.

MGM’s CEO said that the iGaming operator is now the second largest, in terms of market share between online casino and online sports betting, in the U.S. marketplace, and that the company is heading in the right direction at the right time.

“BetMGM remains a clear leader in iGaming, having reached a 30% market share in the second quarter,” Hornbuckle said. That has been helped by BetMGM Casino. “We also continue to see the benefits of customer acquisition between MGM and BetMGM.”

Hornbuckle remained bullish on BetMGM’s odds moving forward, especially given the company’s recent partnerships with MLB, NBA and NHL, in addition to a number of teams in each league.

Looking to be No. 1 in iGaming

His hope, in the long term, is to put resources in place to propel BetMGM to the top spot in the iGaming industry, continuing the growth trends seen during the past calendar year.

“BetMGM’s operations grew 19% sequentially from the first quarter to this quarter,” Hornbuckle said. “This was driven by growth in both iGaming and online sports betting verticals, as a result of increased customer acquisition and strong retention that yielded more first-time deposits and active users.”

Looking forward, Hornbuckle expressed confidence that BetMGM, established in 2018 via a joint venture with UK-based gambling operator GVC Holdings, could eclipse $1 billion in revenue by the end of the 2022 fiscal year.

Much of that confidence comes from the expansion of legalized sports betting in states, such as Arizona and MD, where Maryland sportsbooks are likely to go live at some point in 2022.

iGaming Demographic is Changing

It also stems from increased activity from younger audiences, Hornbuckle said, who are looking toward sports betting and iGaming as a form of entertainment.

“The demographics have changed to a younger audience and they’ve gotten more acclimated to gaming,” he said. “We’ve seen it throughout the past year. Remember, the older folks like myself have generally stayed away for health concerns, and I think we’ve seen the emergence, if you will, of another marketplace.”

All of those factors contribute to Hornbuckle’s belief that sports betting and iGaming at large could be game changers for operators, like MGM, as they try to maneuver their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think, between an increase in states, the full year of iGaming, and some other potential things that we continue to market, we feel pretty comfortable about our (Net Gaming Revenue),” Hornbuckle said.