MGM Live—Playtech Partnership to Bring Las Vegas Resort Experience to International BetMGM Players

Photo by Kit Leong/Shutterstock

MGM Resorts International is putting the emphasis on “international” with a plan to stream content from two of its Las Vegas retail properties to online casino customers in overseas markets. It struck an agreement with casino content vendor Playtech to stream live dealer games from the MGM Grand and Bellagio. Unfortunately, US BetMGM players won’t get to partake, as most online casino states require live dealer content to come from in-state studios.

MGM Live, as the new service will be called, “will be available for licensing in regulated markets worldwide, outside of the United States.”

While the concept of joining Vegas gamblers via an online casino may also appeal to Americans, state laws prohibit it.

Playtech (Playtech PLC 548,00 -0,18%) owns Playtech Live, which provides live dealer services to online casino operators in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Those states require live dealer studios to be located in the states in which bettors watch and wager with operators that partner with Playtech Live.

Speaking of US online casino laws, Nevada hasn’t yet authorized the form of gambling. So, online poker and sports betting are allowed in the state that’s now hosting the widely broadcast World Series of Poker (WSOP).

However, Nevada online casinos aren’t yet legal, meaning Nevadans can’t bet on the live dealer games that international gamblers will see via MGM Live.

Even if Nevada adds legal online casinos, there’s another issue. Within the US, MGM (MGM Resorts International 46,15 +0,09%) partners with Entain (Entain PLC 668,60 -1,24%) on the gambling site and app BetMGM. MGM’s participation in the joint venture means the company can’t compete with BetMGM in the US. Hypothetically, Playtech would then have to dump a lot of operator partners in order to offer a de-facto branded live dealer studio to only BetMGM.

Meanwhile, MGM’s announcement quoted MGM President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle:

The launch of this new and exciting live casino offering, in partnership with Playtech and directly from Bellagio and MGM Grand in Las Vegas, furthers our strategic vision to be the world’s premier gaming entertainment company. This collaboration amplifies our commitment to providing unparalleled experiences and expands our global reach to our customers. We believe the content, celebrity talent, and sophisticated gaming experience that we will offer — all from the trusted and highly reputable brands of MGM Resorts — will be unmatched in the industry.

What MGM Live Will Stream

MGM owns 14 properties in Vegas, but the MGM Live project includes just two, at least to start:

  • MGM Grand 
  • Bellagio Resort and Casino

Then, Isle of Man-based Playtech will kick off MGM Live by offering “single and double-zero roulette and baccarat games.”

International players will be able to participate virtually in the same games as players physically present at those two casinos. Most live dealer games take place in specialized studios. Even when those studios are within a casino property—as most New Jersey studios are—they are separate from the general gaming floor and off-limits for patrons. However, Golden Nugget Atlantic City did experiment with streaming games directly from its floor once, in 2018.

The Playtech announcement about MGM Live reads:

Future phases of the partnership will expand our offering to include access to several proprietary Playtech games as well as exclusive branded TV game shows, celebrity-hosted trivia shows, and immersive entertainment experiences.

Playtech CEO Moran Weizer adds:

This partnership combines the strength of MGM Resorts’ global prestige with Playtech’s extensive international market knowledge and innovative games.

Entain notably rebuffed MGM’s bid for the company in 2020, citing its lack of international presence. MGM has been working on that international online status ever since.

BetMGM Europe, LeoVegas the Likely Beneficiaries

MGM’s announcement doesn’t specify which sites will offer the games. It operates two brands internationally: LeoVegas and BetMGM. Despite having the same name as the US operator, BetMGM UK and BetMGM Netherlands are operated solely by MGM Resorts and aren’t part of its joint venture with Entain.

Both brands operate on the LeoVegas software platform, which MGM acquired in 2022. The European BetMGM sites would offer the most natural brand tie-in with the Las Vegas retail properties, but the shared software should make a deployment on LeoVegas easy if MGM wants to.

MGM has been working hard to bolster its Europen product offering. On June 24, MGM said LeoVegas would add in-house sports betting capabilities to its non-US catalog by acquiring and repurposing Tipico’s US business.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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