Wynn Resorts has just lost an offer to make a name for itself in the burgeoning TV sports gambling sector – and some insiders fear this may have been the casino empire’s biggest and last chance.
Wynn from Las Vegas – which has struggled since billionaire Steve Wynn left the company in 2018 amid a series of allegations of sexual misconduct – Was among the losing bidders this week when Bally’s casino chain won a media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, The Post learned.
As The Post first reported, Ballys and Sinclair reached an agreement on Wednesday to rename the 21 regional sports television network Sinclair acquired from Fox last year – currently under the Fox Sports brand – to Bally Sports.
Bally’s, which owns Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, is paying Sinclair $ 85 million for the naming rights over a 10-year period, granting exclusive access to fans of 42 major teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals. Ultimately, the goal is to give viewers the option to bet on games right from their TV using Bally’s online gaming tool.
According to sources close to the deal, Bally’s only won the partnership after recently stepping up its bid to outdo a competing proposal from Wynn that had been a major driving force behind the Sinclair collaboration. At least one other unsuccessful bidder also lost the deal, the sources said.
Some insiders speculated that Wynn may have lost in part because the storm of allegations against its 78-year-old founder tarnished the Wynn brand and clouded prospects for a successful marketing partnership. However, a source close to the conversations denied that this was a factor in the process.
Sinclair declined to comment. Wynn didn’t return calls.
After the deal was announced, Bally shares rose 21 percent on Thursday and rose another 31 percent to $ 48.40 on Friday. Wynn’s shares fell nearly 3 percent on Thursday and Friday. It was the worst year in the casino industry yet, with 34 percent pandemic destroyed tourism. By comparison, shares of Sheldon Adelsons Las Vegas Sands, a billionaire, are down 19 percent, while MGM Resorts is down 21 percent.
The loss of Bally’s injuries to Wynn as his rivals last year was busy building a number of television broadcast partnerships.
Last month, after becoming the NFL’s official casino sponsor last year, Caesars Entertainment announced its first ever NFL team sponsorship under a contract with the Indianapolis Colts. Caesars offers opportunities to bet through the Indianapolis Colts app and its own betting app will be integrated with Colts marketing. Caesars has also signed a contract to connect ESPN’s digital platforms to its sports betting websites. Caesar’s shares are up 10 percent this year.
MGM has since partnered with MLB, the NBA and the NHL in which it is a game partner. Now MGM can use official league data and branding to improve their online betting platform and the leagues will promote MGM on their websites. In January, Penn National Gaming bought a 36 percent stake in Barstool Sports and the two are promoting each other.
“I think Sinclair was the last major trophy media award out there,” a gaming analyst who asked for anonymity told The Post.
In a call for earnings this month, Wynn executives said the company’s online gaming unit, Wynn Interactive, has made significant strides. The subsidiary has just launched online sports and games in New Jersey and is currently applying for licenses in Tennessee and Virginia. Last year the company also acquired a stake in the European digital sports betting company BetBull.
“I think it’s early days for Wynn,” said Jefferies managing director David Katz. “You are trying to create an industry for yourself in digital gaming. It is true that almost every operator wants to be there. To what extent it will be a revenue driver for Wynn is still open. “
When it comes to digital gaming, Katz adds, “You have to go big or go home.”
In his presentation to investors on Thursday, Bally’s said the U.S. online sports betting market is projected to be $ 2.6 billion this year and that it will grow to $ 12 billion by 2025 and $ 50 when due Billion US dollars will grow.
According to Bally, interest in sports betting is greatest among the youngest population. According to Bally, 63 percent of sports fans between the ages of 25 and 34 were interested in betting, compared to 35 percent of sports fans over 65.