Boyd Gaming Sees Value in FanDuel Retail Sportsbooks, Customer Base
Posted on: September 10, 2019, 11:41h.
Last updated on: September 11, 2019, 01:20h.
FLORENCE, Ind. – There’s a long corridor between the FanDuel sportsbook and the Belterra Casino Resort’s riverboat. But Peter Chu sees a corridor of opportunity at the Indiana venue.
In the coming weeks, Belterra will bring six of its 42 table games and 27 of the 1,168 electronic gaming machines out onto what once served as a loading ramp for patrons – a necessity when the boat opened nearly 20 years ago and went on two-hour cruises. The Indiana Gaming Commission approved the plan at its meeting last month.
Chu, Belterra’s general manager and a vice president of parent Boyd Gaming, said the sportsbook will help connect the casino with some of the resort’s other amenities, including its steakhouse and sports bar.
“Just to test it out and see how to create that vibe, support the company’s move with the sportsbook, and to see how it goes,” Chu told Casino.org at Monday’s sportsbook ribbon-cutting.
If it works, it may lead to Belterra moving the entire casino off the boat.
“It is one of the options,” Chu said.
Retail Important for FanDuel
FanDuel is better known for its online properties, most notably its daily fantasy sports and sportsbook, The latter of which is available currently in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. However, the company’s retail sportsbook has locations in those states, as well as Indiana, Iowa, and New York.
The locations in the last three states have all opened since July.
While the online sportsbook does most of the sports betting business – it currently holds about a 50 percent sports betting market share in New Jersey – the brick-and-mortar locations also play a pivotal role with the company, Keith Wall, vice president of commercial retail for FanDuel, told Casino.org.
“It’s a big part of our strategy,” Wall said. “Interacting with our tellers, interacting with others as they can sit and watch the game and place wagers at the same time.”
At Belterra, officials there hope the revised casino floor plan will entice sports bettors to bet on a game and play a few hands of blackjack while they’re watching the contest unfold. Or play a slot machine for a few pulls. Or enjoy a meal and a drink.
Leveraging Customer Bases
FanDuel and Boyd Gaming announced their partnership in August 2018. The move connected a gaming business with 29 casinos in 10 states with a sports entertainment technology company with more than 8 million customers in 45 states.
The arrangement doesn’t just give Boyd a connection to an emerging brand in the sportsbook business, Chu said. It also gives them access to FanDuel’s customer base, including those who live metropolitan areas like Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Dayton in Ohio, and Louisville and Lexington in Kentucky.
All of those cities are within a two-hour drive of the resort, located in Switzerland County.
Those cities also have a lot of residents who may have moved into the region after Belterra opened, so the relationship with FanDuel can also serve as an introduction to that market, too.
Maybe they’ve heard of the name, but they’ve never actually come to visit,” Chu said “This might draw another group of folks who can actually come in and enjoy our facility.”
Getting and retaining customers from those metro areas is important for Belterra, as Switzerland County, with just slightly more than 10,000 residents, ranks as the seventh-smallest county in Indiana by population.
Boyd is already seeing some benefits from the partnership.
In March, the first FanDuel sportsbook at a Boyd location opened at the Valley Forge Casino Resort near Philadelphia. Through the end of July, the retail book has produced nearly $1.3 million in gross revenue, according to data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
In addition to that, revenue from table games is up at Valley Forge. From March to July, the casino has produced nearly $16.8 million from its table games. That’s up about 5.8 percent from the same period in 2018, even though the casino now has two fewer tables than it did last year.
“The partnership with Boyd is a fantastic one,” Wall said. “We work very close to drive in business for the sportsbook and the casino. From the marketing perspective, it really helps to have that relationship.”
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