Wynn Resorts Announces Shutdown of WynnBet in Most States

On Aug. 11, Wynn Resorts announced what it calls a “reduction of markets” for its online gambling product WynnBet. What this means in practical terms is that the app is shutting down in most states it has been operating in.

The list of states to be discontinued includes New Jersey and West Virginia. That will leave WynnBet Casino Michigan as the sole iGaming platform under the Wynn brand. Even its future isn’t guaranteed. The company’s announcement says that it is “under review.”

WynnBet also acquired an online casino license in Pennsylvania in December 2022. Although not explicitly mentioned in the press release, it’s safe to say that the company’s plans to launch there are now off.

Meanwhile, WynnBet Sportsbook will shut down in most states:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Like Michigan, WynnBet’s New York operations are under review. Nevada and Massachusetts are the only states in which it has firm plans to continue. That’s because it benefits from having a retail casino presence there.

Julie Cameron-Doe, Chief Financial Officer of Wynn Resorts, explained:

In light of the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting, we believe there are higher and better uses of capital deployment for Wynn Resorts shareholders. While we believe in the long-term prospects of iGaming, the dearth of iGaming legislation and the presence of numerous other investment opportunities available to us around the globe have led us to the decision to curtail our capital investment in WynnBET to focus primarily on those states where we maintain a physical presence.

Moving Day for the US Online Gambling Industry

To borrow a golf term, 2023 is rapidly becoming “Moving Day” for the US online gambling industry. In Q2, several of the most successful operators announced they had finally achieved net profitability for their real money gambling sites. Conversely, smaller and less successful ones have been finding the need to tighten their focus or even shut down entirely.

In many cases, that has meant dropping out of states without iGaming. WynnBet’s announcement suggests similar reasons by pointing to the failure of iGaming expansion efforts in 2022 and 2023. However, that can’t be the whole story because New Jersey and West Virginia are among the states where it is folding up shop.

WynnBet’s late arrival on the scene may have doomed it. Its founder and former CEO, Steve Wynn, was, like his peer Sheldon Adelson, vehemently opposed to online casinos. Consequently, Wynn Resorts and Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands only began to pursue online gambling initiatives after these two moguls were no longer at the helm. By then, it may have been too late.

Sands briefly dabbled in business-to-business online gambling services but abandoned that effort last year. WynnBet’s debut in New Jersey in July 2020 was without fanfare, and it never established itself there. In Michigan, it is a mid-tier operator with a little more than 3% of the market.

The decision to pull out of most states appears to have been made quite quickly. Until very recently, the company was still investing in the product. It struck a content deal with EveryMatrix in New Jersey in July and announced its multi-state app’s rollout this week.

However, it hadn’t yet deployed that new app in any online casino states. Perhaps the costs associated with that upgrade factored into the calculation. If a shutdown was likely coming regardless, doing it before performing the maintenance would make more sense. Even so, WynnBet users in New Jersey were told just days ago to expect a new app. Now, they’re being told they’ll lose the one they had.

On Aug. 11, the company posted on X:

We regret to inform you that WynnBET will be closing its operations. As of August 11, 2023, WynnBET will no longer be accepting bets or allow igaming wagering in the following states AZ, CO, IN, NJ, TN, VA, LA, WV.

For more information visit: http://wynnbet.com/faq

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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