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US Sports Betting Update – cruise ships are the next frontier for BetMGM

US Sports Betting Update – cruise ships are the next frontier for BetMGM

BetMGM has tied up deals to offer mobile sports betting and online casino gaming on more than 50 cruise ships ported in the United States. Its partnership with Carnival Corporation covers the Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises brands. It will build retail sportsbooks on the ships and allow passengers to place online wagers via its sportsbook and casino apps. 

BetMGM has emerged as the most popular online casino brand in the United States. That is largely thanks to its in-house progressive jackpot network, which has minted several new millionaires via exclusive games such as Bison Fury and Mega Millions. It is also the number three sportsbook in the country, after FanDuel and DraftKings. Now it is bidding to conquer the seas along with the land. 

BetMGM’s platform will roll out in phases on the cruise ships over the coming months. It can offer sports betting and casino gaming in both US and international waters on the cruise liners. “We’ve found an ideal partner in Carnival Corporation and look forward to providing our sports betting and iGaming products to its millions of passengers,” said BetMGM chief executive Adam Greenblatt. “This is another great opportunity for us to further expand BetMGM’s footprint.”

Marty Goldman, senior vice president for global casino operations at Carnival Corporation, added: “We’re very proud to be able to deliver the excitement and engagement of sports betting and iGaming to our guests through our partnership with BetMGM. Our two leading global hospitality organizations will provide a wide array of immersive digital content as a complement to our exceptional shipboard casinos.”

Michigan Reports Strong Year-on-Year Growth

Sportsbooks in Michigan handled $356.1 million in May, according to new figures from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. That represents a 38% year-on-year increase compared to May 2021. It was down 10% from the $396 million wagered in April, but that was to be expected, as May is a quieter month in the sporting calendar. Sportsbooks reported a 10.1% hold for $35.9 million in revenue.

FanDuel led the way with a handle of $99.4 million last month. That gave it a 29.8% share of the state’s online sports betting market. Once again, it generated a large revenue, by holding 15.2% for $15.2 million in revenue. Parlays and same game parlays tend to be popular at FanDuel, which drives a large hold. DraftKings has been knocked out of the top two by BetMGM, which handled $80 million in May, with $8.8 million in revenue amounting to an 11% hold. 

Revenue Surges in Louisiana

In Louisiana, sportsbooks handled $171.1 million. That was a 17.8% decrease compared to April, when March Madness was still running and there were more NBA games. However, a very high hold of 15.9% ensured that May revenue came in at $25.7 million. That is a dramatic increase from April, when sportsbooks managed just a 3% hold for $5.5 million in revenue. It suggests that a lot of results went against bettors last month.

Baseball was the main source of revenue for sportsbooks last month. It generated $5.7 million in revenue, ahead of $4.7 million from basketball. Football generated $331,777, soccer accounted for $126,440 and revenue from “other sports” reached $535,460. Meanwhile, parlay betting revenue was $1.5 million.

Louisiana legalized online sports betting at the start of 2022, and its sportsbooks have taken $786 million in mobile wagers since then, generating almost $10.3 million in taxes, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. “We collected more taxes with $44 million less in wagering,” LGCB chair Ronnie Johns said. “That’s what the win ratio will do for you. We’re off to a good start.”

Bet365 Becomes PGA Tour Partner

In other news, Bet365 has tied up a deal to become the official partner of the PGA Tour until 2024. However, it covers international markets including Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia as opposed to the United States. It suggests that Bet365 is still not ready to make a concerted push into the US market, despite operating in New Jersey for several years. The brand is expected to launch in Colorado soon, as it has gained market access, but it has not yet provided a launch date.

“The bet365 group is delighted to be working with one of the most iconic brands in global sport,” said the company, run by Denise Coates in the UK. “Throughout this partnership with PGA Tour, Bet365 will strive to continue delivering a market leading in-play experience to our golf customers, both across our global sites and the PGA Tour platforms.”

It represents a shot in the arm for the embattled PGA Tour, which has seen several key players resign to take part in the rival LIV Golf Series. It has sparked a great deal of controversy, as the LIV Series is lavishly bankrolled by the Saudi government, which is accused of “sportwashing”. Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka are among the big names to defect.

They have either resigned or been suspended from competing in the PGA Tour as a result of their decisions. The first event took place in London prior to the US Open – which was won by England’s Matt Fitzpatrick – and the second LIV Golf Series event will get underway in Portland, Oregon, next weekend. The PGA Tour has criticized the players for joining, as has a prominent 9/11 survivors’ group, but the Tour is continuing to prepare for the future.

“We are excited to work with bet365 to expand the Tour’s sports betting initiatives outside of North America," said Scott Warfield, vice president of gaming at the PGA Tour. “Bet365 was the first operator to integrate the Tour’s official in-play betting product and they are poised for tremendous growth being on the forefront of in-play sports betting in golf. The Tour continues to look for opportunities to innovate in new areas with a goal of engaging with fans.”

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