This week’s casino news runs the gamut with acquisitions, legal challenges and a new sponsorship deal. We’ll start there as MGM has struck a partnership with the MLB and will soon play ball with the Boston Red Sox:
MGM Resorts Internationals Reaches First Baseball-Casino Sponsorship Announced
It is a new day for Major League Baseball. Now that sports betting is becoming legalized in more and more parts of the United States, they’ve formed a relationship with the casino industry. MGM Resorts International announced a multi-year agreement with the Boston Red Sox, which will see the renowned brand become the official and exclusive resort casino of the team.
MGM said that in the new partnership, the large left-field wall (The Green Monster) at Fenway Park, the Red Sox’ home stadium, will have the MGM Resorts logo prominently featured. Of course, the timing works well as MGM recently opened up the MGM Springfield location just outside of Boston.
In terms of what we’ll see at Fenway Park, expect signage of the brand to be far more visible on game days, including clear messaging behind home plate. They’ll also get mentions on Red Sox radio and other team-controlled media outlets.
Going forward, we can expect to see the Red Sox host different events at MGM Springfield – likely in the offseason.
Pennsylvania Postpones Rollout Of Online Casinos
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has reportedly needed to adjust to a recent ruling from the United States Department of Justice on the Interstate Wire Act of 1961. The state board announced it would delay a planned rollout of online casinos.
The issue stems from a challenge by the state of New York and Illinois as to whether it would be legal for them to use out-of-state processors to sell lottery tickets online to local residents. In other words, does everything have to be in-state – from people buying the tickets to the lottery or casino company, to the processors.
This very issue has ramifications in the sports betting and online gambling realm as it could start to blur the lines dividing the different states.
A number of states have quickly fought back, as 14 others have joined Pennsylvania to challenge this new interpretation. Keep an eye on the news to see how this plays out. It could delay online action in Pennsylvania, which was expected to commence in the summer.
American Billionaire Part of Las Vegas Bid For Rio All-Suite Hotel And Casino
Ronald Burkle, an American billionaire behind the Soho House chain of private members clubs, has reportedly approached Caesars Entertainment Corporation about the possible purchase of Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. The 66-year-old Burkle is the managing partner for private equity firm, The Yucaipa Companies, which is trying to improve the fortunes of struggling properties. Caesars, which owns Rio All-Suite Hotel, has had the value of its shares fall near 30 percent over the past year, so this might be a good time for him to buy in.
The Rio is home of the World Series of Poker, but outside of that, it has become a forgotten hotel in Las Vegas. It’s off The Strip, there aren’t any signature restaurants there, and there aren't any entertainment draws. The brand is still good, but it needs a shot in the arm to add some life back to it. Burkle is hoping to pick it up and give it that makeover.