US Sports Betting Update – BetMGM ties up sponsorship deal with Kansas City Chiefs
BetMGM has signed a multi-year deal to become the official sports betting partner of the Kansas City Chiefs. Fans at Arrowhead Stadium will see the sportsbook’s branding displayed prominently when their heroes are in action, while there will also be digital initiatives. Bettors can look forward to special bonuses linked to the team, along with prizes and game day experiences as part of the MGM Rewards loyalty program.
The company announced the deal just two hours before a new era of legal sports betting began in Kansas at noon on Thursday. BetMGM was one six online sportsbooks to go live in the Sunflower State on day one, along with Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet and Barstool. A soft launch period is underway, and the full launch will take place next Thursday, just in time for the NFL Kickoff game. The Chiefs take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1.
Arrowhead Stadium is located just over the border from Kansas in Kansas City, Missouri. However, the Chiefs are very popular in the Sunflower State. Many bettors from Missouri are also expected to head over the border to place wagers at apps such as BetMGM, as their home state does not have a legal sports betting industry. “With a rich history and a passionate fan base, the Kansas City Chiefs are an ideal partner,” said BetMGM chief revenue officer Matt Prevost. “As we launch our sports betting platform in Kansas, we look forward to elevating the game day experience for Chiefs fans throughout the region.”
Can The Chiefs Make a Winning Start?
BetMGM makes Kansas City the 4.5-point favorite to beat the Cards in Week 1. The game takes place on Sunday, and it will mark the start of a new era for the Chiefs’ offense following the departure of Tyreek Hill to Miami. The franchise cleared out the receiving corps in the offseason and brought in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marques Valdez-Scantling and Skyy Moore to give Patrick Mahomes a new set of weapons.
The Chiefs are priced at a tempting +260 to win the AFC West Division for the seventh consecutive season. Some commentators are expecting a regression following Hill’s departure, but you could argue that Mahomes now has an even more formidable supporting cast, and Kansas City looks capable of holding of the Chargers, Broncos and Raiders to win the division. They are also +500 to win the AFC and +1000 to win the Super Bowl. It is the first time since 2018 that the Chiefs have not started the season as Super Bowl favorites.
Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan said: “As an industry leader in the space, we are excited to welcome BetMGM to Chiefs Kingdom. We have invested significant time and energy advocating for sports wagering legislation and today's announcement is going to open the doors for our fans to add to their experience for the 2022 season and beyond.”
Battle for Market Share Intensifies
BetMGM now has operations in 24 states, including retail sports betting venues. It is fighting with very ambitious rivals for market share in Kansas, so it launched a very generous $200 pre-registration bonus in the Sunflower State. The sportsbook has now switched to its standard welcome bonus: a $1,000 risk-free bet for new customers. If your first wager loses, BetMGM refunds you with bonus credits up to $1,000. They have a 1x rollover requirement.
Some competitors have launched even more compelling bonuses. The best of the bunch comes from DraftKings, which has marked the start of the new football season with a short-term “Bet $5, Get $200” bonus. You can sign up and bet $5 on a football game to redeem a guaranteed $200 in free bet credits. They will be immediately released into your account, so they are not dependent on the $5 first bet winning. It is divided into eight $25 free bets, each with a modest 1x playthrough requirement.
FanDuel has gone in with a similar “Bet $5, Get $150” bonus. A minimum deposit of $10 is required at FanDuel. New customers can then bet $5 and receive $150 in free bet credits, win or lose. Caesars has now launched first bet insurance of up to $1,250. If a customer’s first bet loses, he or she will be refunded with a free bet worth up to $1,250, which also has a 1x rollover requirement. It is similar to the sign-up bonus from BetMGM, but Caesars has ditched the “risk-free bet” terminology following pressure from responsible gambling campaigners.
Caesars Relaunches in Pennsylvania and Bet365 Expands into Colorado
In other news, Caesars Sportsbook & Casino has relaunched in Pennsylvania. The original Caesars online betting site launched in the Keystone State in 2020. Last year, parent company Caesars Entertainment completed its $4 billion takeover of William Hill. It quickly rebranded William Hill as Caesars Sportsbook & Casino, and it wound down the legacy Caesars betting site. However, William Hill did not operate in Pennsylvania, so everyone in the Keystone State has been stuck with the old site, until today. It has now relaunched on the William Hill platform, so Pennsylvania bettors can enjoy the full Caesars experience.
Elsewhere, Bet365 has finally expanded out of New Jersey. The world’s most popular online betting site launched in the Garden State a couple of years ago, but it has been reluctant to roll out across the country. Bet365 has now launched in Colorado, having tied up a market access deal there last year. “We’re delighted to announce that the world’s favorite online sports betting brand will now be available to sports fans in Colorado,” said the company in an announcement. New Jersey and Colorado are the two most competitive states, with more sportsbooks than anywhere else, so it will be interesting to see how it fares. The expansion may now gather pace. Bet365 has also announced that it will team up with the Cleveland Guardians to launch in Ohio when sports betting launches on New Year’s Day.