The legal battle for online sports betting has been a subject of debate for many years. But, in 2008, the online betting enthusiasts received positive news. New Jersey won a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court that potentially opened the door to multiple states being able to legalize betting on college and professional sports. Justice Samuel Alito, a New Jersey native, wrote the court’s opinion in the case. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own,” Alito said according to an article by USA Today. “Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution.” Even though strict regulations by various governments are still an obstacle for the online market, according to a Zion Market Research report, the global sports betting market was valued at around USD 104.31 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach approximately USD 155.49 Billion by 2024 while growing at a healthy CAGR of 8.83% between 2018 to 2024. FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (OTC: FUNFF) (CSE: FANS), Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNTY), Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL), International Game Technology PLC (NYSE: IGT), Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD)
As the legal infrastructure becomes more friendly towards sports betting, specifically in the online space, many companies in the gambling industry are investing in offering more sports betting options. According to a report by the Associated Press, companies like DraftKings are making serious strides in developing easy to use systems available to the public through partnerships with sports leagues. For example, The National Basketball Association and DraftKings had announced a multiyear partnership that will make DraftKings an authorized sports betting operator of the league. And, according to a report by MarketWatch, many have invested money into a new exchange-traded fund that tracks the sports betting and online gambling industries. This represents a “remarkable vote of confidence for a fund that’s only a few days old,” said Dave Nadig, a longtime industry veteran now at ETF Database. “I am a fan of this fund. If you believe online sports betting is the next big thing, this fund will capture everything from back-office infrastructure to front-facing retail plays.”
FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (OTC: FUNFF) (CSE: FANS) announced yesterday the, “acquisition target Askott Entertainment Inc. (“Askott”) has completed its second video game themed casino game ‘Crash Heist’. After the successful launch of ‘Loothunter’, Askott is ready to offer its second game in what will be a series of video game and esports themed casino games for online sportsbooks and casinos to offer.
RNG/casino games represent a large piece of the online real money gaming industry. Many sportsbooks offer casino games and with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of having such games has been magnified. Askott is developing games that will appeal to a broader target market that includes a growing younger demographic along with traditional gamers.
‘We currently offer a betting solution for esports books and wanted to add RNG casino games to round out our partners’ betting offering to their customers,’ said Scott Burton, CEO of Askott Entertainment. ‘These additional offerings will result in more engagement from bettors and higher retention on our platforms. Without the need for live esports events, these games can be played 24/7 by our players allowing for more consistent betting and predictable revenue.’
‘As a leading developer of casino style games, we have now developed two games that can be leveraged on various platforms. Our partners will now be able to access our full suite of games, and other operators can license these games as stand alone products for their customers.’
The Askott suite of games will be a mix of pure chance games in addition to games that will combine some skill elements. ‘Loothunter’ was modeled on the popular loot case concept used in video games whereby you buy a key for a case and hope to get an item/reward greater than the price of the key. The game also allows you to earn key fragments for free to build out a key.
The Crash Heist concept has the users breaking into a bank vault for an entry fee of their choice. Once in the vault, their money rises steadily until they exit. If they get out of the vault before the police arrive, the money is theirs, if not they crash out.
‘We look forward to our stage of growth with Askott games where we will target casino aggregator partners that serve as an additional channel to leverage and distribute our games to a much broader audience,’ continued Scott Burton.
All of the games are built on our own certified and tested random number generator with provably fair elements built in and adhering to the gaming jurisdictions where our partners have licenses.”
Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNTY) reported back in April that its Colorado subsidiaries received approval for three Sports Betting Master Licenses. The licenses were awarded during a special meeting of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission held on April 2nd, 2020. In addition, the Commission awarded Circa Sports Colorado LLC, the Company’s partner for one of its Master Licenses, with a temporary Internet Sports Betting Operator License. The Commission is moving forward with licensing and will meet the May 1st, 2020 legislative launch date deadline. Due to impact of the pandemic on the sports betting industry, the Company is uncertain of the timeline that the Circa | Sports TM mobile sports betting app will launch.
Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL) announced earlier this month that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire LHE Enterprises Ltd, the holding company of online sportsbook and casino operator Argyll Entertainment AG and its operating subsidiaries. Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur on or before July 31st, 2020. “Reaching a definitive agreement to complete our first acquisition as a NASDAQ company is a major milestone,” commented Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. “Argyll CEO Stuart Tilly and CFO Dan Marks already joined our senior leadership team in June as Corporate Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, respectively. They are a great addition to our organization and will help us build on Argyll’s base of more than 100,000 registered users, placing us in a great position to grow revenue moving forward.”
International Game Technology PLC (NYSE: IGT) announced last month that its PlaySports platform will power retail and mobile sports betting at Wild Card Saloon and Sasquatch Casino in Black Hawk, Colo. Owned and operated by privately held gaming company, Ed & Shirley’s Inc., both casinos will leverage IGT PlaySports kiosks, platform and mobile technologies to give their patrons choice and convenience for how, when and where they place sports bets. “Offering omni-channel sports betting via the IGT PlaySports solution will introduce an exciting new dimension of gaming to Wild Card Saloon and Sasquatch Casino that sports fans throughout Colorado are ready to embrace,” said Ed Smith, Ed & Shirley’s Inc. President.
Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and FanDuel Group announced last year the debut of FanDuel Sportsbooks at four Boyd Gaming properties: Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, Indiana; Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa; Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa; and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana. The openings follow the successful debut of the FanDuel Sportsbook at Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, in March, as well as the companies’ launch of mobile sports betting across the state of Pennsylvania in July. In the coming months, the two companies also plan to introduce mobile sports products under the FanDuel brand in both Iowa and Indiana, pending the receipt of required regulatory approvals. “Together, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group continue to successfully capitalize on the historic opportunity afforded by the legalization and expansion of sports betting in new states across the country,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming.