The popularity of sports betting and esports had reached new highs last year. As the pandemic prompted millions to begin social distancing and transition to work or study from home, many online services also saw a surge in demand. 2020 was also marked with several important legal and political victories for the sports betting sector. As the legal infrastructure became friendlier towards online gambling, many companies in the gambling industry began to offer additional betting options. In the United States, for example, there are several states that offer online casino gaming services, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware. Michigan had also just recently passed legislation which will allow it to launch similar services, Shared reports. Furthermore, 2021 seems to follow the trend, as Governor Charlie Baker has filed and introduced a bill that would legalize sports betting in Massachusetts. FansUnite Entertainment Inc., GAN Limited, Bally’s Corporation, DraftKings Inc., Boyd Gaming Corporation.
The most significant boost to the sports betting segment is attributed to the usage of smartphones, which allow bettors to bet at anytime and anywhere. In addition, innovative technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and VR are changing the intricacies in many fields, including gambling in an online casino. However, technology is also greatly responsible for the exploding popularity of esports. In recent years, major developments in how video games and esports competitions are organized have occurred. As a result, more investors have been attracted towards this young market, and at this point, it is considered a mainstream industry. This segment also includes gambling and the betting features associated with it, thus resembling the online sports betting segment.
FansUnite Entertainment Inc. and Vancouver-based OneComply Inc. announced last month that they have, “entered into a partnership. OneComply, a compliance and licensing solution, will assist FansUnite as they enter additional North American legalized gaming jurisdictions by advising on protocol and strategy.
This move follows the June 2020 announcement by FansUnite of the amalgamation with Vancouver-based Askott Entertainment Inc. to create one of Canada’s leading online gaming companies, focused on sports betting, esports wagering, and casino games.
‘We are pleased to be partnering with OneComply as we look to tackle the North American gaming market,’ said Scott Burton, CEO of FansUnite. ‘As a licensed betting and iGaming company, we understand how difficult and nuanced the licensing process can be. With the help of OneComply, we will be able to streamline the process to enter new North American markets and showcase our suite of gaming solutions to a broader audience.’
The repeal of PASPA, being the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, has created a wave of newly regulated States across the United States’ gaming market. Companies seeking to gain market entry into these States face massive regulatory processes to obtain operational licenses. The United States legalized gaming industry is State-regulated, meaning companies need to file for each jurisdiction independently. These individual disclosure filings can be thousands of pages in size resulting in substantial internal and external expenses.
‘The amount of opportunity in North America for new-to-market companies can be overwhelming given the various licensing processes and jurisdictional requirements, with companies no longer trying to enter one jurisdiction, but multiple jurisdictions simultaneously. This creates a tremendous amount of lag in productivity even with the most seasoned of compliance and legal teams,’ said Cameron Conn, CEO of OneComply Inc. ‘We understand the importance FansUnite places on regulation, and we look forward to supporting them scale in the North American market.’”
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GAN Limited (NASDAQ: GAN) announced yesterday that it had entered into a definitive agreement with the Seneca Gaming Corporation to provide Simulated Gaming solutions to SGC patrons across all properties on both desktop and mobile. The unique solution is powered by GAN’s core Simulated Gaming software and provides meaningful marketing, brand building and revenue opportunities for both operators and GAN. Seneca Gaming Corporation operates three casinos in New York on behalf of the Seneca Nation of Indians: Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo, and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca. GAN was selected to develop a custom solution to replace SGC’s former simulated gaming solution, in order to bring a more robust experience to their New York players. As a result, GAN will rebrand SGC’s social play-for-fun offering for both desktop and mobile, and supply both marketing and customer services for the platform’s users. GAN will be also providing marketing services which includes acquisition and retention marketing as part of its holistic services and solutions.
Bally’s Corporation (NYSE: BALY) reported last week that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Monkey Knife Fight, the award-winning, fastest-growing gaming platform and third-largest daily fantasy sports (“DFS”) operator in North America. The all-stock transaction makes Bally’s just the third sports betting company in the U.S. to have a fantasy sports segment. In 2020, MKF, which offers its loyal users a dynamic and creative slate of daily sports and e-sports contests, was ranked by SponsorUnited as the sixth most-searched and tenth fastest-growing brand in sports and entertainment. “With this acquisition, we are pleased to enter into the high-growth DFS market. Monkey Knife Fight is a unique asset that we look forward to incorporating into Bally’s constantly growing omnichannel portfolio of land-based casinos and iGaming platforms,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation. “As with all of the properties and services that fall under the iconic Bally’s brand, we are committed to providing a best-in-class DFS platform to sports fans around the country.”
DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) announced last month that the Charlotte Hornets have named DraftKings as the exclusive Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner of the franchise. The multi-year agreement will greatly increase DraftKings’ presence in North Carolina. Along with access to Hornets trademarks and logos, the deal provides that DraftKings-branded LED signage will be featured courtside and on the basket stanchion at Spectrum Center, in addition to logo displays on top of the backboards. The two companies will also collaborate on unique social promotions and content that further align the collective brands. “Charlotte Hornets basketball games are must-watch TV for the NBA, and we look forward to providing Hornets fans with a best-in-class gaming experience,” said Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer at DraftKings. “We look forward to deepening our business relationship with the Hornets organization through this new agreement and showcasing DraftKings in North Carolina.”
Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and FanDuel Group reported back in August the debut of the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook in the state of Illinois. Sports bettors across the state of Illinois now have access to FanDuel’s industry-leading online and mobile sports-betting platform, with wagering options available in professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and more. Additionally, FanDuel will operate a retail sportsbook located at Boyd Gaming’s Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, Illinois, pending regulatory approval. Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming, said: “Given the tremendous success of our existing FanDuel Sportsbooks, we are confident that the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook will quickly become Illinois sports bettors’ mobile app of choice. We are excited for the opportunity to offer both mobile and retail sports betting in one of the most populous states in the country, as we continue to expand our strategic partnership with FanDuel Group.”