GVC and MGM activate $450m playbook for JV prospects

Shareholders of GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts have sanctioned a further funding round in joint-venture property ROAR Digital, increasing investment in the US market venture to $450 million.

The funding is approved to accelerate ROAR’s flagship sportsbook property of BetMGM, which since its launch in 2018 is on track to operate in 11 US states by the end of year trading.

ROAR’s second tranche of funding follows an initial commitment of $200 million in the joint-venture, triggered by GVC and MGM investors at the start of 2019 as BetMGM began its US market proceedings.

GVC and MGM state that the investment ‘underpins their commitment’ to ensure that BetMGM becomes the lead sportsbook and igaming business for the regulated US market, in which ROAR will maintain ‘$370 million of investable capital’ for its expansion directives.

“We launched this business to combine the best of MGM Resorts and GVC, and establish BetMGM as a leading brand in the US sports betting and iGaming markets,” said Adam Greenblatt, CEO of ROAR Digital.

“With broad market access secured, our long-term technology foundations now firmly established, and a high performing team in place, this further unequivocal support from our two shareholders will ensure we can achieve leading market positions in this exciting industry that is growing even faster than our initial expectations.”

Moving forward, ROAR seeks to dominate US wagering in the ‘four core strategic tenants’ of market access, customer reach, technology and people.

Citing strong year-one foundations, ROAR has secured market access to 19 states, approximately 50% of the US population.

Further imminent prospects will see ROAR launch BetMGM to Yahoo Sports’ 64 million monthly active users, activating its exclusive media partnership upon the imminent return of US pro sports calendar.

Sports betting and iGaming are fundamental to what MGM Resorts does best,” added Bill Hornbuckle, Acting CEO & President of MGM Resorts.

“Our investment in ROAR is a demonstration of our continued excitement about the unique benefit of offering unforgettable, premier entertainment experiences to millions of our loyal guests directly through BetMGM. We believe this competitive advantage places BetMGM at the forefront of the most dynamic growth opportunity in all of US gaming and will ultimately deliver meaningful long-term value for our shareholders.”

BetMGM’s expansion continues to be supported by GVC development of proprietary technology units and software tailored for US sports trends and engagements.

The joint venture’s technology commitment sees GVC and MGM underline the need for ROAR to recruit best-in-class talent leading BetMGM’s engineering, product development and day-to-day operations.

Kenneth Alexander, CEO of GVC, said: “We see enormous potential for the US market and are delighted to have such a strong foothold in it through our partnership with MGM Resorts.

“Our stake in BetMGM is, by some distance, the most important and exciting investment that GVC has ever made. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the Company has the funding and technical resources needed to achieve long-term market leadership, whilst delivering significant value for shareholders.”

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