MGM-GVC sports betting joint venture gains preliminary approval in Nevada Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · January 8, 2020 at 3:52 pm Nevada gaming regulators Wednesday granted tentative approval to the joint venture between MGM Resorts International and UK-based GVC Holdings to set up a digital sports betting operation in the state. The partnership, which was announced in 2018, currently operates Roar Digital, a mobile wagering platform operating in New Jersey through the Borgata in Atlantic City. The app, BetMGM, launched in September. If the Nevada Gaming Commission signs off on the recommendation later this month, BetMGM will replace the PlayMGM app currently in operation in Nevada. Roar Digital CEO Adam Greenblatt told the Gaming Control Board in Carson City that Nevada will be a unique operation – MGM Resorts operates its own sportsbooks at its 10 resorts in Las Vegas, but Roar Digital will oversee the online activities. Greenblatt said Roar Digital will be a service provider to MGM in Nevada. “This will not be the model in every state,” Greenblatt said. “We’ll cater to whatever the market requires. In Tennessee, it’s a direct license and Roar will apply for a direct license to operate the whole thing.” MGM and GVC each invested $100 million to launch the company in 2018. Since the partnership began, MGM has been active in creating partnerships with sports leagues, teams and other businesses. MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren has said sports betting is a key growth market for the company. “We have a very strong belief that sports betting increases our connection to our customers,” Murren told the Nevada Independent last year. Greenblatt echoed that comment, saying MGM brings in 7 million visitors annually to Las Vegas, which will help build brand loyalty to BetMGM. When they go home to Indiana and West Virginia, we think will have acquired a customer,” he said. In October, MGM Resorts and media giant Yahoo announced a partnership agreement geared toward mobile sports betting that will utilize the Roar Digital mobile platform and reach “the widest possible audience” of U.S. sports fans. MGM established partnerships with three of the four major professional sports leagues. The company has struck marketing deals with several teams, including placing the MGM Resorts logo on the Green Monster at Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. In September, MGM and Roar Digital announced a sports betting partnership with the national Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar franchise to provide odds and point spreads on screens at select restaurants. #exclusive – MGM-GVC sports betting joint venture gains preliminary approval in Nevada. –@HowardStutz, CDC Gaming Reports. https://t.co/DXG8Io5tGs @MGMResortsIntl #CDCgaming — CDC Gaming Reports (@CDCNewswire) January 9, 2020 MGM and GVC have a sports betting deal with Boyd Gaming Corp. for access to the companies’ regional casinos. The agreement between MGM Resorts and Yahoo follows other partnerships that have developed between gaming companies and media corporations since the landmark May 2018 Supreme Court ruling that opened the U.S. to legal and regulated sports betting. “The world changed last year with the fall of PASPA,” Greenblatt said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.