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MGM stock rises as investors reward online deal

Shares in MGM Resorts rose almost 4 percent on Friday after investors applauded the casino operator’s latest foray into the online sphere.

The stock rose to close at $36.32, a remarkable turnaround from its $5.90 52-week low hit at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year.

MGM’s latest move into the sports betting sphere comes through a partnership with golfing entertainment company, Topgolf. 

 The two companies will collaborate on marketing and promotional offers through the BetMGM platform at select Topgolf venues and within WGT by Topgolf, an online golf game.

"We look forward to introducing Topgolf guests to the immersive sports betting experience that only BetMGM can provide," said BetMGM's Chief Revenue Officer Matt Prevost. "Topgolf is known for offering unique and interactive entertainment options, which our loyal BetMGM users can now access through a variety of exclusive and customized packages."

Most of the major U.S. operators have branched into sports betting and online gaming since it began to be legalized in 2018. However, recently MGM has been the most aggressive into diversifying into digital.

In January, the company offered $11 billion to buy the U.K.’s Entain, its joint venture partner in BetMGM. That offer was rebuffed and MGM declined to raise its bid.

Despite the setback CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the company is focused on becoming an omni channel operator and still has its eyes on a major online acquisition.

“We’re going to stay disciplined and focused on BetMGM and ultimately we will make a play, whether it's for Entain or someone else that is of substance,” he said in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television. “It’s a space we absolutely want to be in.”
He declined to give further details of potential targets or markets.

“We’ve seen the value of omni channel, taking a customer in our database, or BetMGM’s database and marrying them together, the multiplier effect is pretty compelling in terms of revenue.”

BetMGM is currently operating in 12 states and is eyeing operations in a further eight by the end of this year.

BetMGM brought in revenues of $178 million in 2020 and the group expects that to double in 2021.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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