GVC Holdings Confirms US Sports Betting Tie-Up with MGM Resorts

MGM Jim Murren.

MGM CEO Jim Murren is hoping to take his new sports betting brand across the US with the help of GVC. (Image: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts have confirmed a $200 million/£152 million joint venture that will see the former provide its online sports betting expertise to the latter.

Initially reported on July 28, the deal will be mutually beneficial project that won’t involve any equity swap between the two companies at this stage.

However, what it will involve is an initial investment of £76 million from each party and the launch of a new selection of sports betting sites in the US.

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

In the official announcement on July 30, GVC said that the 50/50 deal will build upon the relationship it already has with MGM via the New Jersey casino site, playMGM.

Using this as a base, GVC will deploy its betting technology across MGM’s full portfolio of assets.

“The new venture will have exclusive access to all U.S. land-based and online sports betting, online real money and free-to-play casino gaming, major tournament and online poker, and other similar future interactive businesses,” reads the July 30 press release.

For British gaming fans, one of the more interesting snippets from the announcement was the reference to partypoker.

As part of the deal, GVC’s Partypoker brand could be set to go live in a variety of US states with the help of MGM.

After being forced to leave the country in the wake of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), the brand made a return when New Jersey’s iGaming laws passed in 2013.

However, with MGM planning to launch sports betting sites in every state that enacts is own laws, Partypoker could once again become a force in the US.

Deal Could Restart the Party in the US

Indeed, prior to the US regulatory changes, Partypoker was the dominant brand and was only usurped when PokerStars stayed active in the country post-UIGEA. By working with one of the largest casino brands in the world, GVC boss Kenneth Alexander now hopes to revive the fortunes of the Party Gaming brand in the US as well as GVC as a whole.

For MGM CEO Jim Murren, the deal is the next step in his mission to make sports betting available across the US. During an interview in May, the American businessman said that he wanted to act “very quickly” following the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The first step to achieving this goal will be the creation of a head office in a “major US technology hub” and the formation of a new team of experts.

Although a launch date for the first GVC/MGM sports betting site hasn’t been announced, the announcement notes that it should be ready “in anticipation of the upcoming processional American football season.”

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