Bet365 and Empire Resorts Reach a Deal for New York Sports Betting

Internationals sports betting giant Bet365 has secured its place in the New York sports betting market through a deal reached with Empire Resorts. The 20-year agreement will see Bet365 manage the retail and online sports betting operations at Resorts World Catskills.

Additionally, Bet365 has committed to acquire up to $50 million shares of Empire Resorts stock to become the company’s second largest shareholder. Empire Resorts owns Resorts World Catskills, which is located about 90 miles northeast of Manhattan and features an 18-story hotel, more than 2,100 slots, 150 table games and a plethora of bars and restaurants.

Manny Pearlman, Executive Chairman of Empire Resorts said this in a press release:

“Joining forces with bet365 positions Empire and our flagship Resorts World Catskills to lead a potentially enormous new market. Bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York.

“This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”

Deal Puts Bet365 in Strong Position for NY Sports Betting

For Bet365, the deal gives the gaming company an important entry point into the valuable New York sports betting market. Under the terms of the agreement, Bet365 branding will be applied to the online and in-person sportsbook, which means Bet365 also gains the benefit of increased brand awareness in the United States.

Bet365 isn’t exactly a household name in the USA, but the company is a behemoth on the international stage. Bet365 is the world’s largest betting site and is one of the UK’s largest private companies with more than 4,000 employees and annual revenues in excess of $3 billion.

The New York market is highly sought-after given the state’s large, affluent and sports-loving population. This deal is particularly good for Bet365 because it gives the company an almost-certain entry to the market no matter what type of legislation is passed to fully legalize sports betting in New York.

New York already has one law in place from 2013 that approved sports betting at the state’s four upstate commercial casinos, one of which is Resorts World Catskills. Sports betting has not yet launched in the state, however, because the NY Gaming Commission still needs to issue regulations to govern NY sports betting.

Additional legislation may also be introduced to expand legal sports betting to the state’s tribal casinos and to authorize online wagering. Whether or not additional legislation is passed, Bet365 already has its partner in place and will be able to offer in-person sports betting at the very least.

If new legislation is passed to authorize online and mobile sports betting, Bet365 will be in an even better position as its deal with Empire Resorts includes online wagering under the Bet365 banner.

Bet365 Also Has New Jersey Sports Betting Deal in Place

Bet365 now has a path of entry into two key sports betting states. In addition to its deal with Empire Resorts for New York, Bet365 also has a deal in place with Hard Rock Atlantic City for New Jersey sports betting.

It was revealed earlier this year that Bet365 and Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino have reached an agreement of some sort to supply sports betting to NJ residents. The details of the agreement are still under wraps several months later, but we do know the two companies have something place for sports betting.

Given Bet365’s vast experience in online wagering, the deal likely covers online betting at a minimum. Hard Rock Casino launched online gaming in June and is partnered with the Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) for interactive gaming.

GiG also recently signaled its intention to offer online sports betting in conjunction with Hard Rock Casino to offer an “omni-channel sportsbook platform.” This could indicate GiG and Hard Rock will run sports betting through Hard Rock Online Casino.

If that is indeed the plan, it seems likely Bet365 and Hard Rock AC may end up launching a separate online betting skin – possibly under the Bet365 brand. Whatever route Bet365 and Hard Rock end up taking, the most important fact from Bet365’s point of view is it now has inroads into two major sports betting markets in the United States.