IGT sports wagering technology now utilized in 11 states with ‘with opportunities for expansion’ Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · November 25, 2019 at 6:30 am Financially, sports betting has yet to move the needle on International Game Technology’s balance sheet. For now, the focus is on expanding the gaming equipment provider’s reach in the growing U.S. market. IGT’s sports wagering products and systems are utilized in 11 of the 13 states where sports betting is legal, covering 35 casinos. IGT’s mobile sports wagering technology is currently active in seven states. In Rhode Island, the company was hired in partnership with William Hill US. to provide sports betting services for the state and its casinos. On the company’s third quarter earnings conference call two weeks ago, CEO Marco Sala said IGT’s PlaySports technology accounts for nearly half of the online wagers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Last week, IGT touted its launch in Oregon at The Mill Casino in North Bend, which is operated by the Coquille Indian Tribe. IGT provides the system for the casino’s retail sports and the company’s self-service betting kiosks. “We’re as serious about this dynamic as we are with any our verticals,” said Charles Cohen, IGT’s vice president of sports betting for its PlayDigital division. IGT, through its pre-2015 merger with GTech Holdings, has provided sports betting products in for two decades in Europe – notably its home base of Italy – as well as Asia and Latin America. “This is not completely a new product,” Cohen said. “In the U.S., it’s been a big hole in the industry. We know how to operate in the environment, and we know our customers.” IGT’s sports wagering products/Photo courtesy IGT At the Global Gaming Expo last month in Las Vegas, IGT unveiled several ungraded sports wagering products, including two easy-to-use self-service betting kiosks where customers can avoid lines at the counter and place wagers on their own. The kiosks’ multimedia displays show betting odds and wagering lines, as well as live sporting events. As sports betting expands across the U.S., IGT executives believe the company’s products will continue to find an active audience. Cohen said IGT shares in the sports betting revenues with casinos in exchange for the use of the systems. Either the casino or a sportsbook operator handles the risk factor associated with the wagering activities. Financial results Sala said on the earnings conference call that IGT’s PlaySports Pod and PlaySports Bank hardware “enable small-to medium-sized casinos to provide a capital-efficient Vegas-style sportsbook experience.” Analysts said the investment community is waiting to see how the sports betting numbers shake out for IGT. In the quarter that ended Sept. 30, IGT reported total revenues of $1.15 billion. The company’s North America Gaming and Interactive Division reported revenue of $257 million, up 11%, which included “service” revenue of $4 million. The company said the “service” figure was “driven by (a) contribution from sports betting.” Credit Suisse gaming analyst Ben Combs, in a note to investors following IGT’s earnings, said the sports betting contribution was “still a rounding error.” On the conference call, IGT CFO Alberto Fornaro cited sports betting as a product with opportunities for expansion. A year ago, when SunTrust Bank gaming analyst Barry Jonas launched his coverage of IGT, he labeled the sports betting platform market as “competitive with the threat of new entrants.” He added that “it may still be years before we know the full impact of U.S. sports betting for the market and IGT.” Expansion The only two sports betting states where IGT is absent are Delaware, which is overseen by William Hill U.S., and New Mexico, where Las Vegas-based USBookmaking and a partnership between Las Vegas Dissemination Company and Las Vegas’ South Point Casino have management deals with tribal casinos. #exclusive -IGT sports wagering technology now utilized in 11 states with ‘with opportunities for expansion’. –@howardstutz, CDC Gaming Reports. https://t.co/e6mDYPfz8L @IGTNews @MillCasino #CDCgaming — CDC Gaming Reports (@CDCNewswire) November 25, 2019 Six additional states and the District of Columbia have passed sports wagering legalization laws, and IGT executives are excited about the new markets that will open well into 2020. “It’s not like putting a game on the casino floor,” Cohen said. “It’s a new type of business for many of our customers that is somewhat unfamiliar to them. They come to us looking for a good solution to implement sports betting.” Terri Porcaro, CEO of The Mill Casino, said sports betting is a “new option (that) perfectly complements our slots and table games offering and gives our customers even more reasons to visit our waterfront destination.” Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.