Tipico Shutting Down NJ Online Casino & US Sportsbooks Due to Acquisition by MGM Resorts

Photo by Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock

Tipico is set to become the latest casualty of the US online gambling market. Over the next few months, the company will wind down its American operations as it prepares to sell those tangible assets to MGM Resorts International. This means the shuttering of its New Jersey online casino and its online sportsbooks in four states.

MGM announced on June 24 that Tipico had accepted an offer from its subsidiary, LeoVegas Group. The deal includes the product and technology Tipico has been using in the US and certain members of the company’s staff. These include roles in management, technology, and trading.

LeoVegas is itself a recent acquisition for MGM. That deal was completed in late 2022, providing MGM access to international iGaming markets. However, LeoVegas doesn’t currently offer sports betting in all markets. Where it does, it relies on third-party technology.

Providing in-house sports betting capabilities to LeoVegas is the focus of the deal. It’s unclear whether MGM plans to do anything with Tipico’s online casino product or will mothball it. Tipico recently made various improvements to its US casino geared toward increasing its appeal with female gamblers.

LeoVegas CEO Gustaf Hagman said:

By controlling our own sportsbook technology, we ensure that we will deliver the world’s greatest iGaming experience to customers across all our markets and brands. Powering our strong brands with a competitive and innovative sports product will enable us to grow and strengthen our sportsbook offering in both new and existing markets. I look forward to welcoming the talented teams from Tipico’s U.S. business into the LeoVegas Group very soon.

BetMGM Joint Venture Prevents Solo US Operations

MGM surely does not need any additional online gambling brands in the US. As things stand, it has a stake in four New Jersey iGaming brands through its joint venture with European online gambling giant Entain:

However, even if it wanted to, it would not be able to keep Tipico’s US operations running. The terms of the BetMGM joint venture stipulate that neither partner can own a competing brand in the US without the other’s permission. That was an issue that also came up when DraftKings made an offer for Entain.

The announcement states:

The acquisition will allow LeoVegas to operate a purpose-built proprietary sportsbook across all international markets and brands, with the exception of those exclusive to the BetMGM JV[.] Tipico will wind down its U.S. operations prior to the closing of the acquisition.

MGM provided the third quarter of 2024 as the timeline for completing the acquisition. Therefore, Tipico should be out of New Jersey and other states before October. New Jersey is the only state in which it offers casino gaming, but the US withdrawal will also mean the shutdown of its sportsbook in these states:

  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Ohio

MGM’s International Online Strategy

MGM began its pursuit of international online gambling markets not long after Entain rebuffed its acquisition offer.

Joint ventures are inherently unstable. One common endpoint is for one partner to acquire the other’s share or to acquire the partner entirely. That brings the joint venture under a single roof and ends any potential conflict.

That’s what MGM attempted in late 2020, offering $11 billion for Entain. However, Entain rejected the offer, stating that it undervalued the company’s future prospects. There were also concerns about whether MGM could effectively manage Entain’s global business. Although it has “International” in its name, MGM is essentially a US-centric company, save for resorts in China and Japan.

Since then, MGM has shown more interest in pursuing online activities outside the US and on its own terms. The slower-than-expected expansion of US iGaming may factor into that, alongside the gradual loss of BetMGM’s market leadership to DraftKings and FanDuel.

Despite the name, BetMGM UK is wholly owned by MGM and not part of the joint venture. It built that site using LeoVegas software and has followed up with a second launch in the NetherlandsBecause they share the same technology, these sites will likely see an upgrade to the Tipico sports betting platform at the same time as LeoVegas itself.

About the Author

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is an online gambling industry analyst with nearly ten years of experience. He currently serves as Casino News Managing Editor for Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media Network. Other gambling news sites he has contributed to include PlayUSA and Online Poker Report, and his writing has been cited in The Atlantic.
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