MGM-GVC Venture, Roar Digital, Launches Borgata-Branded Online Sports Betting Platform in New Jersey

Posted on: May 16, 2019, 02:31h. 

Last updated on: May 16, 2019, 02:31h.

In a week that marked one year since the US Supreme Court shot down the federal ban on sports betting, Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino launched its own online wagering platform,
The Borgata may have fallen behind in the New Jersey online gaming but the combination of MGM Resorts and GVC has the potential to dominate a future mature US sports betting market. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

The casino’s owner MGM Resorts International already operates mobile sports betting in New Jersey under the Borgata license through playMGM NJ Sports, in partnership with UK online gaming giant GVC.

But BorgataSports will be its first Borgata-branded sports gambling operation, complementing the casino’s existing online gaming portfolio, BorgataCasino and BorgataPoker.

Super Group?

BorgataSports is also a collaboration between MGM Resorts and GVC, which last year — shortly after the fall of PASPA — partnered up on a joint venture that united one of the world’s biggest land-based casino groups with one of the world’s biggest online gambling groups. GVC is also the biggest retail bookmaker in the UK through its Ladbrokes-Coral operations.

The two companies plowed $100 million each into the project, which became known Roar Digital, and sought to build “a world-class sports betting and online gaming platform” which would have “meaningful early-mover advantages.”

BorgataSports promises to offer bettors more than features than they can get at the casino’s soon-to-be-remodeled bricks-and-mortar sports book, such as in-play betting and daily boosted parlays across multiple sports.

Slipping in New Jersey

The Borgata was an early market leader for the first years of New Jersey’s online gaming market — which was then just poker and casino — before it was toppled by late entrant Golden Nugget and, more recently, Resorts, to lie in third.

In terms of online sports betting, the fledgling New Jersey market quickly came to be dominated by FanDuel, which operates under the Golden Nugget license, and DraftKings, which is partnered with Resorts.

Online now accounts for the vast majority of all bets placed in the state, and the two former DFS-only sites have capitalized on brand awareness, while successfully migrating existing DFS players to sports betting.

MGM will be hoping that an extra brand under the Borgata umbrella will claw back some of the online market share.

Scoping Out the Market

The MGM-GVC partnership is expected to extend its operations beyond MGM’s casinos. Roar Digital has realized that whoever eventually comes to dominate a mature US sports betting market will be a supplier as well as an operator.

The company has been actively courting casinos in states that has not yet legalized sports betting, and targeting the Native American gaming sector, which comprises roughly half of the US casino market in terms of the number of venues.

Roar Digital has also struck a deal with the former joint owner of the Borgata, Boyd Gaming, that will allow both parties to offer online gambling services in jurisdictions where one or the other the operates physical casinos, creating a combined access to 15 states which either have legalized sports betting or are likely to do so in the future.