MGM Prioritizes Sports Betting Amid Pandemic

    • BetMGM is a bright spot in a rough year for its parent company.
    • The company expects the app to be in 20 markets by the end of the year.

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With the pandemic still looming, MGM is leaning further into BetMGM, its sports betting and iGaming division. 

The company was crushed by COVID’s effect on the hospitality and tourism industries, reporting losses of $448 million, with revenue down 53% year-over-year to $1.5 billion.

But BetMGM — a joint venture with U.K.-based gaming company Entain, which recently rejected an $11 billion takeover bid from MGM — has been a bright spot.

The app’s revenue increased 130% year-over-year in the last three months of 2020. Then it launched in Virginia, Michigan and Iowa last month.

BetMGM has been live in New Jersey since 2018 and was the state’s second sports betting app after DraftKings.

New Jersey handled $6 billion in sports bets in 2020, more than Nevada’s $4.3 billion handle, which was the lowest total in the state since 2015.

  • New Jersey’s mobile betting numbers soared in 2020, with about 90% of bets placed via on-the-go options.

“BetMGM gained significant market share throughout 2020 while successfully launching in seven new states,” said CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle. “We expect to be in 20 markets by the end of the year.”