MGM and Boyd Gaming have agreed a landmark deal that will allow both parties to offer online gambling services in jurisdictions where either Boyd Gaming or MGM Resorts operate physical casino resorts and where online licenses are available.

MGM and Boyd

Together, MGM and Boyd will have access to 15 states, with the potential to legalize online gaming, which will “significantly increase each company’s market access and customer base throughout the United States.” (Image: MGM Resorts)

The agreement will allow both parties to extend their presence across the patchwork of state jurisdictions that will form America’s slowly emerging online and mobile gambling market. The deal includes internet casino, poker, and most significantly sports betting.

MGM has casino properties in seven states — which will increase to eight once it finalizes the acquisition of New York’s Empire City Casino next year. Combined, MGM and Boyd will have access to 15 states — many of which are expected to legalize sports betting over the next few years, or have already done so.

Industry Evolving

This will allow MGM and Boyd to “significantly increase each company’s market access and customer base throughout the United States,” according to a press release. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted on Monday, it will also enable them to compete more effectively for dominance of the emerging online sports betting market with Penn National and Caesars, which are present in 15 and 13 states, respectively.

“Our industry is evolving, providing opportunities for growth through new forms of gaming like online and mobile gaming,” said Boyd Gaming President and CEO Keith Smith.

“Thanks to our partnership with MGM Resorts, Boyd Gaming will have the opportunity to potentially add an online presence in five additional states, positioning us for significant future growth as our respective companies take a leadership role in our industry’s evolution,” he added.

MGM CEO Jim Murren called it an “unprecedented partnership, which allows us to fully engage with the almost 30 million M life Rewards members throughout the country.”

Good News for GVC

The announcement came a day after MGM announced another eye-catching deal, with UK-based GVC Holdings, which own sports betting juggernaut Ladbrokes Coral and PartyPoker, among other major online gaming brands.

The two companies have plowed $100 million each into a joint venture to create a “world-class sports betting and online gaming platform in the United States.”

MGM is taking online gaming and sports betting in the US seriously and has in the past few days made a major play for dominance of what will be a regulatory fragmented landscape.

John DeCree, an analyst at Union Gaming in Las Vegas, said in a note that the two agreements by MGM “solidify two of the major pillars required for a successful expansion into sports betting: technology and distribution.”