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Full House, Wynn partner on mobile sports wagering in 2 states

Nevada-based Full House Resorts has partnered with Wynn Resorts International to expand its sports betting offerings.

Full House, which operates five casinos in four states, announced this month that it had entered two agreements with WSI US LLC, a wholly owned Wynn subsidiary that focuses on interactive gaming and sports wagering.

The deals allow Wynn Resorts to conduct mobile sports wagering in Indiana and Colorado, where Full House runs its Rising Star and Bronco Billy’s hotel-casinos, respectively. A press release from Full House did not disclose the terms of the deal.

“Wynn Resorts is renowned for its unparalleled focus on guest service,” Daniel Lee, Full House’s president and CEO, said in the release. “We are thrilled to see them bring their unique vision to the online space, beginning with the residents of — and many visitors to — Indiana and Colorado.”

Representatives from Full House and Wynn did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

Market access

Partnerships like this have been popping up frequently since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, giving all 50 states the ability to legalize sports betting.

These deals are all about market access, according to Brendan Bussmann, a partner at Global Market Advisors. He said these types of partnerships can help operators access customers in other states, especially those beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar space.

“I think they (Wynn), like any other operator, are looking to leverage sports betting as another avenue to draw additional revenue and draw people to their facilities,” he said.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming analyst Chris Grove said market access is the “trickiest piece of the sports betting puzzle” for operators, but Wynn’s new agreements mark a critical step in taking on the expanding industry.

This isn’t Wynn’s first sports betting deal. In April, the company announced a partnership with Scientific Games that focuses on the launch of digital sports betting and internet gaming applications in the U.S., starting with New Jersey.

“Sports betting provides a way to establish and maintain a meaningful relationship with customers that you might have trouble engaging otherwise,” Grove said via email. “Leadership at Wynn Resorts is signaling an understanding that the online gambling vertical is likely to become a significant driver of revenue growth in the U.S. market in the decade ahead.”

So far, 13 of the 20 states that have legalized sports betting have gone live with it. Indiana legalized sports wagering in September, and Colorado voters will decide whether to give the go-ahead next month.

Bussmann believes the results off the off-year election will depend on voter turnout.

“It’ll just delay (sports betting), should it not pass,” he said. “I don’t see the issue of sports betting going away anytime soon.”

Sports betting strategy

With this partnership, Full House has used all its allowed sports wagering opportunities in Indiana and Colorado. The operator has been approved for three mobile skins — the industry term for website — for each of its casino licenses, and it has already partnered with sports betting operators Smarkets and Churchill Downs in the two states.

Lee told investors in August that he expects to see positive results for the company as sports betting continues to spread across the U.S. At the company’s Silver Slipper property in Mississippi, sports wagering contributed $443,000 to operating income during the first half of the year.

Grove said the financial upside from these deals is significant for Full House, which is charging roughly the same rates for state access as larger casino groups.

“They appreciate that market access is commanding a premium right now,” he said. “That’s where Full House can bring the most value and exercise the most leverage, and I think they’re executing well on that front.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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