BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt, known for conservative prognostication of the iGaming marketplace, said he expects three states to see “some legislative movement” in 2024. He said New York, Maryland, and Illinois may experience online casino legalization progress. That prediction stands in contrast to his gloomy outlook for 2023.
His previous statement was that there would be no new US iGaming legalization in 2023.
Meanwhile, Greenblatt didn’t say why he named the 2024 states in that order during the Dec. 4 BetMGM 2023 Business Update. However, if his crystal ball is correct, 27 million more Americans may soon see commercials for BetMGM Casino and other online casino apps.
Greenblatt said once states legalize online gambling, BetMGM will be live on Launch Day.
He also expressed disappointment that Indiana wouldn’t be the fourth state to see movement. That’s because lawmakers there believe considering gambling legislation would be ill-timed, considering a former House member who supported Indiana’s sports betting law recently pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe.
2023 May Have Been a Building Year
Greenblatt’s 2023 forecast was mostly accurate — no states launched online casino gambling. However, Rhode Island did legalize the form of online gambling and is scheduled to launch Bally Casino in 2024.
If his Dec. 4 prediction holds true, it may be due to his call to action to the online gambling industry nearly a year ago. On Jan. 26, 2023, Greenblatt said educating lawmakers about the benefits of legal online casino gambling may help in “sowing the seeds” for new legislation.
Meanwhile, BetMGM CFO Gary Deutsch said BetMGM’s online sports betting revenue grew faster than online casino and poker in 2023. He said that was true because new sports betting states went live this year.
2024 and Online Casino Legalization Progress
Bonus interviewed the lawmakers who proposed online casino bills in each state Greenblatt named.
Indeed, New York State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. told Bonus he plans to once again introduce a bill legalizing online casino gambling. Maryland State Sen. Ron L. Watson said the same to Bonus about possible 2024 legislation. Illinois State Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. informed Bonus that the bill he’s already introduced may make progress in 2024.
2024 Is a Rebuilding Year for BetMGM
BetMGM had been the No. 1 online casino operator, with a plurality of market share. DraftKings (DraftKings 41,28 +1,08%) now claims that throne.
During a Nov. 3 earnings call, DraftKings Co-Founder and CEO Jason Robins dodged an analyst’s question about whether a cyberattack against BetMGM made its gamblers flee.
On Oct. 4, BetMGM gamblers noticed they couldn’t access their accounts.
However, that cyberattack against the joint venture between Entain (Entain PLC 911,20 -0,07%) and MGM Resorts International (MGM Resorts International 42,58 +0,35%) came after a larger one against MGM. That separate land-based casino giant said it lost at least $110 million due to a September cyberattack against its systems.
On Dec. 4, no analysts asked Greenblatt about the cyberattack against BetMGM.
Perhaps that’s because Greenblatt and Deutsch acknowledged that BetMGM has lost market share.
Both emphasized that the joint venture between Entain (Entain PLC 911,20 -0,07%) and MGM Resorts International (MGM Resorts International 42,58 +0,35%) remains among the Big Three online gambling operators. Greenblatt said that BetMGM still holds 17% of the online casino and sports betting market share.
We are keenly aware that we have to rebuild and regrow our market share.
Hence, Greenblatt said BetMGM will make marketing and product investments in 2024.
BetMGM’s Online Casino Products
The Buffalo slot game that’s popular at land-based casinos finally made its online debut in September, and BetMGM was the first to offer it. Greenblatt said since then, the slot by Anaxi, the online division of Aristocrat Leisure, has remained among the top 10 slots on BetMGM’s New Jersey sites.
Now, Buffalo is available in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Also, BetMGM’s standalone app, Wheel of Fortune Casino, shows omnichannel strategies work. Land-based gamblers become online casino fans and continue to play “when they go home.”
Game recognition, brand recognition does travel.
Despite recent market share losses, Greenblatt said another aspect of brand recognition is still a plus:
The MGM brand counts for a lot.
Plus, based on BetMGM’s data about gamblers, the app lets online casino users know about games they may enjoy. That “personalization” yields a 13% increase in total game launches, Greenblatt said.
That omnichannel strategy will also have a boost in 2024 when MGM’s retail casino progressive jackpots will link to BetMGM’s.
Meanwhile, there are the tried-and-true cross-sell efforts. Greenblatt said about 60% of online sports bettors played online casino games, and 40% followed the opposite route in Q3 2023.
The idea that he could talk about historic practices in online casino gambling wasn’t lost on Greenblatt, who said BetMGM was once a “plucky startup.”
Greenblatt said the operator is a more significant business for Entain and MGM now:
Today, BetMGM represents a strategic limb.