Gam­bling

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS -

get casino in At­lantic City for its li­cense in New Jersey. It bought Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Penn­syl­va­nia in March and owns two casi­nos in Mis­sis­sippi, with plans to of­fer sports betting in all three states.

Dublin-based gam­bling firm Paddy Power Bet­fair has an online casino in New Jersey but is con­sid­er­ing merg­ing its U.S. busi­ness with FanDuel, the pop­u­lar daily fan­tasy sports com­pany, in a deal with clear up­side for both sides. Bet­fair would gain a well-known Amer­i­can brand with mil­lions of cus­tomers built on tech­nol­ogy that could be used for sports betting. FanDuel, mean­while, would need ex­per­tise on com­plex reg­u­la­tion if it hopes to gain a casino li­cense, a move that most fan­tasy sports com­pa­nies tried for years to avoid by ar­gu­ing that fan­tasy sports doesn’t amount to gam­bling.

An­tic­i­pa­tion of the rul­ing even prompted some com­pa­nies to squash their dif­fer­ences and fo­cus on the po­ten­tial wind­fall. Lon­don-based book­maker Wil­liam Hill had threat­ened to use its stock to de­rail a buy­out be­tween two online gam­bling in­fra­struc­ture firms in Las Ve­gas. But it later agreed to sup­port the pur­chase of NYX Gaming by Sci­en­tific Games.

The op­por­tu­ni­ties are vast for com­pa­nies that can help cus­tomers turn from il­le­gal book­ies and off­shore oper­a­tions, said Laila Min­tas, deputy pres­i­dent of Spor­tradar, a New York com­pany that works with more than 70 sports fed­er­a­tions and leagues around the world on fraud de­tec­tion, in­clud­ing the NBA, NHL and MLS.

“It opens the door for all dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers such as the states, the leagues, the casino and lottery in­dus­try to act quickly and to ben­e­fit,” she said.

Mat­tias Stetz, Rush Street’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said it plans to of­fer tra­di­tional betting on fi­nal scores, along with betting on de­vel­op­ments within each game like which team will score next or who will com­mit the next foul. That’s the fastest grow­ing seg­ment of sports betting and pop­u­lar in Ne­vada, the only state that had been tak­ing sin­gle-game sports bets be­fore the Supreme Court rul­ing.

Ma­jor casino com­pa­nies MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional and Cae­sars En­ter­tain­ment and Trop­i­cana En­ter­tain­ment (re­cently bought by El­do­rado Re­sorts) all an­nounced plans to of­fer sports betting out­side Ne­vada, as did the soon-to-open Hard Rock and Ocean Re­sort casi­nos in At­lantic City.

David Katz, eq­uity an­a­lyst at Jef­feries, said Penn Na­tional Gaming and Cae­sars En­ter­tain­ment are in a bet­ter po­si­tion than their peers be­cause of their many lo­ca­tions in mul­ti­ple states, “par­tic­u­larly where there is a high prob­a­bil­ity of sports betting be­com­ing le­gal sooner rather than later.”

Cae­sars is in a par­tic­u­larly ad­van­ta­geous po­si­tion, he said, be­cause it has been do­ing its own book­mak­ing for years, com­bin­ing experience with a large amount of vol­ume.

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