Industry Sports

Verizon-Owned Yahoo Inks Internet Sports Betting User Deal With MGM Resorts

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Yahoo! Sports and MGM Resorts, developer of the BetMGM sports betting app, on Tuesday announced a deal. We’d call it a blockbuster, but these high-profile arrangements are becoming relatively normal in the rapidly growing U.S. sports betting industry.

Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Yahoo parent Verizon Media, and Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, made a joint announcement of the “historic” deal for the companies.

Roar Digital will “power” sports betting for Yahoo Sports, the companies said. However, the companies did not say that Yahoo will have its own branded online sportsbook. Yahoo isn’t licensed anywhere in the country for real-money sports betting. Yahoo Sports boasts 60 million active users each month, so its database of sports fans and fantasy players is massive and attractive to BetMGM as it tries to gain market share.

The presser stated that “transactions [will] take place on the BetMGM platform,” not Yahoo’s.

The multi-year partnership is exclusive.

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Days away from integration

The deal will see the integration “launch” in New Jersey in November. MGM is currently offering online sports gambling in two states, Nevada and New Jersey. Online sports betting is active in only a handful of other states, but many more are expected to consider regulation in 2020.

The Verizon Media CEO claimed the deal will “change the future of fandom,” and NBA commissioner Adam SIlver was quoted in the presser as well, chiming in that the deal “will offer fans unprecedented ways to engage with our games.” Verizon and MGM are already business partners with the league.

The word “unprecedented” appears hyperbolic considering other similar deals in the sports betting space.

The deal is a continuation of Verizon’s “core strategy to connect content and discovery to transactions.”

Roar Digital, the casino developer’s internet sports betting arm, is a joint venture between the Las Vegas-based giant and Isle of Man-based GVC Holdings, a business-to-business supplier.

“This partnership marks an important moment for BetMGM in the growing U.S. sports betting sector,” Murren said in a statement. “Integrating Yahoo’s leading fantasy sports operations and content with BetMGM’s world-class sports betting and interactive platform uniquely positions us to drive market share and large-scale adoption among sports fans.” MGM also stated in the presser that the Yahoo Fantasy Football offering “clocks up 9 billion minutes of user time every year.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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