As part of its Q4 and full-year financial update last week, GVC Holdings also offered an insight into the firm’s US sports betting activities and ambitions with ROAR Digital and MGM.
Delivering the bulk of the detail was Chief Operating Officer Shay Segev who revealed that the US opportunity is one of the areas of the business that he is personally most excited about.
He said: “Last time when we updated you on the US, we just launched our sportsbook in New Jersey. This was the early stages. Since then, we made impressive progress. We launched BetMGM into four additional states.
“We also signed two exclusive partnerships with Yahoo! Sports and with Buffalo Wild Wings. We also ramped up our marketing, and we already see the benefits of this, of us gaining further market share.”
Backing his claim that ROAR Digital and GVC are best placed to lead the US market, Segev commented: “And why do I say that? Why do I say that ROAR is in the best position to lead the US market? Because we have all the ingredients: we have market access; we have leading brands; we have proprietary technology that we own; and we have access to players.
“Let’s touch these components. So in terms of market access, as you can see, we already secured around 50% of the US population in terms of fair market access. Moreover, by the end of this year, by the end of 2020, we will be live in at least 11 states with a BetMGM brand offering to 20% of the US population.”
Segev also noted that GVC is monitoring very closely how the US market is opening, and is ready to capitalize as the situation develops.
On marketing, the COO commented: “I already told you that we have the market access, we have leading brands and we have technology that we own. What about players? So as you can expect, we’re using classic digital marketing like everybody else. We believe that we are more efficient than others because of the international marketing expertise that we bring.
“We also have the GVC marketing technology, and we keep improving the customer acquisition cost. And we see already these numbers are going down.”
Turning to US partnerships with the likes of Yahoo! Sport, Buffalo Wild Wings and MGM, he told investors: “This gives us a reach to an even larger population of people that we know like sports. Yahoo! Sports is a leading mobile sport app in the US with more than 60 million active customers per month, which are now being marketed with the BetMGM brand. In addition to that, we are now integrating Yahoo! Sport where customers with Yahoo! Sport accounts can place a bet directly with BetMGM instead.”
With regard to MGM he stated. “The one which is really a big opportunity for us, the biggest in terms of access to players, is our partnership with MGM and leveraging their assets – both the properties and the large customer base they have – through the M life program.
“We’ve now integrated M life into our BetMGM app, which users who have an M life account can (use to) place a bet with BetMGM. And the ROAR team can market to the M life customer base. In addition to that, soon we are also going to ensure that M life customers will get points when betting on the BetMGM brand, which later on they can redeem it in MGM properties.”
He added: “MGM operates nine properties in Las Vegas, which accounts for almost 50% of all the rooms in Vegas. Three weeks ago, we installed the GVC sport platform in these nine properties. In addition, we rebranded all of these sports arenas in these properties to BetMGM.
“This means that one out of every two guests who are coming and staying in the Las Vegas strip will be marketed now with BetMGM.”
In summary, Segev offered: “2019 has been a foundation year for us in the US where we’ve built all of the building blocks – and we’re accelerating this into 2020. We expect to be live with at least 11 states with the BetMGM brand offering to at least 20% of the US population. We have leading brand, unique technology, and we are expanding our market access.
“Our marketing becomes more and more efficient and we have a huge opportunity to materialize both the partnerships we made and the MGM assets. As we all know, the US opportunity is still untapped, and this is our belief that GVC in whole is in the best position to lead the US market.”