Wynn Resorts’ sports wagering arm WynnBET ‘fast-tracking’ growth after securing Iowa deal

WynnBet, Wynn Resorts sports’ wagering business, said last week it gained market access to Iowa and said in a statement it was “fast-tracking discussion” to launch operations in more than a dozen other jurisdictions.

The company, formed through its acquisition of United Kingdom sports betting firm BetBull, said it reached a deal with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa to launch a mobile sports betting site through the company’s Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, located just south of Iowa City.

WynnBet, which is operated by New Jersey-based Wynn Interactive, is currently available through casinos in New Jersey and Colorado, will soon launch in Michigan and has secured market access in Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, and Massachusetts. The company has submitted license applications in Tennessee and Virginia.

Sports betting is currently legal in 19 states and Washington D.C., with six more states expected to launch this year. Additional states are expected to consider sports betting legalization during their upcoming legislative sessions.

Wynn Resorts, which operates casinos in Las Vegas, Boston, and Macau, said in November during its third-quarter earnings conference call, it had invested $80 million into Wynn Interactive. The company owns 71% of Wynn Interactive with BetBull owners controlling 29%.

On the quarterly conference call, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said the company’s market access deals represent about 25% of the total addressable market. He pointed out that “a lot of the analysts on this call” have predicted a U.S. sports betting market of $20 billion to $30 billion in annual wagers.

“So we already have access to 25% of that,” Maddox said. “And we’re in very active dialogue, definitive documentation in many cases, on seven additional states, which represents another third of that market.”

Maddox predicted Wynn Interactive, would have “more than half of the total addressable market through market access deals, underway in fairly short order.”

WynnBET is entering an increasingly growing sports betting market. Most of the major casino operators nationwide have added sports betting arms, including MGM Resorts with BetMGM and Penn National Gaming through its partnership with Barstool. Caesars Entertainment is in the process of acquiring William Hill while Boyd Gaming has a partnership with FanDuel.

“We’ve obviously operated our own sportsbook for many, many years,” Wynn President and CFO Craig Billings said in November. “We understand trading, we understand what excites the customer and where the market is. And we are working with the team and the BetBull team that understands that as well as we do.”

Shares of Wynn Resorts, traded on the Nasdaq, closed Friday at $106.23, down $2.77 or 2.54%.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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