On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved a gaming license for the British land-based and online sportsbook operator Entain Plc, which is also the 50-50 partner of MGM Resorts International in its BetMGM sports wagering vertical.
Entain, as the fast growing operators licensed for operations across European, American, Brazilian, and Australian jurisdictions, has been targeted for acquisition by MGM Resorts, but the casino giant confirmed earlier this month that the purchase of Entain is no longer the option. Following the revocation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, British operator expanded its US operations across 16 regulated states to acquire a 23% market share in 2021 and get spotted by the MGM’s radar at the time.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, The license approval procedure included the confirmation of suitability and authorization of several Entain’s executives. It was agreed that its CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, will become a member of BetMGM’s board of directors. Commissioners also requested executives to explain the fine of $20.4 million imposed in August by Great Britain’s Gambling Commission for the company’s failure to comply with social responsibility and anti-money-laundering procedures.
Compliance ensured for BetMGM:
However, commissioners were satisfied to learn that the company has adjusted its respective procedures to ensure compliance with legislation and, in particular, the legal grounds of its relationship with BetMGM. Entain is included in BetMGM operations through the 50-50 partnership with MGM Resorts. The latest inclusion of the British operator’s CEO in the BetMGM governing board, with the gaming license now secured, will surely contribute to the success of the partnership.
Entain rejected acquisition…:
It will also help the MGM executives to seek other options after the company offered $11 billion to buy Entain in January 2021. The offer was rejected as the fast-growing operator held a 23% US market share by October of the same year. Although some analysts expected recurring and revised bids, earlier this month MGM’s CEO Bill Hornbuckle said that that no acquisition deal would be made here. “The simple answer on Entain is no, we’ve moved on,” Hornbuckle said.
…to accept B2B partnership:
He added that the company will ”remain highly focused on BetMGM’s business through [its] partnership with Entain and making sure that that business continues to grow.” In the meantime, MGM continues to look for the company profile that is in line with the casino giant’s vision. Its latest $607 million acquisition of Leo Vegas, the Swedish online gaming company, is a significant step on such a way. On the other hand, Entain is free to shape its future prospects alone securing a B2B partnership with a top-class casino like MGM Resorts.
Last but not the least, the license meeting featured the newly appointed Northern Nevada Gaming Commissioner, Brian Krolicki, who formerly served as state treasurer and lieutenant governor. This was the first meeting of the new commissioner Krolicki.