Wynn Invests $80 Million in Sports Betting JV amid Thinning Casino Profits


Casino operator Wynn Resorts is betting big on the fast-growing US sports betting market with an $80 million investment into a previously formed and now reorganized joint venture with European online wagering company BetBull.

Wynn and BetBull originally partnered in 2018 to jointly pursue US sports betting opportunities. Back then, the major Las Vegas casino operator owned 22.5% of BetBull.

Wynn now owns 71% of the newly reorganized joint venture and BetBull’s former shareholders own a 29% stake. The new joint venture combines BetBull’s US sports betting operations with Wynn’s wagering and social gaming business.

The reorganized business will operate under the name Wynn Interactive. It already offers digital betting services in Nevada and New Jersey via the WynnBET app and plans to soon enter Colorado, Indiana, and Michigan. It further has deals enabling it to launch its digital wagering platform in six more states.

WynnBET has recently submitted a formal application for a sports betting license in Virginia and is also eyeing expansion in Tennessee, which became the latest state to go live with legal sports betting on November 1 when BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and local operator Action 247 launched their products in the newly opened market.

A Unique Product

Commenting on their partnership with BetBull, Wynn CEO Matt Maddox said last week during a conference call that the European sports betting operator developed a “more social version of online gaming that is unique to the industry” and that its product “moves you into chat rooms quickly.”

Wynn’s joint venture with BetBull currently employs 150 people, but its workforce will probably grow as the business expands its presence across the US.

Wynn said its group-wide sales for the third quarter of the year were below analysts’ estimates and attributed its even poorer than expected performance to weakness in the Macau market where it runs three properties – Wynn Macau, Encore at Wynn Macau, and Wynn Palace.

The casino giant’s Las Vegas revenue and profit was significantly down from what it reported for the same quarter of 2019, but still exceeded expectations due to rebounding demand during the weekends.

Encore Boston Harbor, the company’s luxury integrated resort in the greater Boston area, was its best performing property during the three months ended September 30. The property last Friday closed its hotel amid a new wave of immediate restrictions on non-essential businesses in Massachusetts as the state fights to control an uptick in Covid-19 cases.

Encore’s hotel service will remain shut through at least December 15. Its casino is now open to patrons from 9 am to 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday and from noon to 9 pm Monday through Friday.

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