MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings in discussions about joint venture

GVC Holdings to work with MGMThe Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts is in negotiations with the UK-based GVC Holdings, for a possible joint venture in sports betting, as the continued battle for market share in the United States heats up.

The talk comes amidst the lifting of the ban on sports betting by the US Supreme Court several months ago.

The MGM currently runs properties in Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Michigan, and one in New York will be operational soon. The company can, therefore, offer sports betting at these properties.

Their property in New Jersey, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has already started offering sports betting.

GVC, which is one of the biggest casino operators in the world, confirmed the discussions with MGM.

“The group can confirm that discussions are at an advanced stage regarding such a joint venture and will update the market when appropriate,” it said.

A spokesman from MGM, Brian Ahern, declined to comment on the issue.

According to a report by Sky News, the 50-50 joint venture will see each company cough up a $100 million contribution.

Chris Grove, the managing director of sports and emerging verticals for California-based research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, said: “From MGM’s perspective, the deal looks to be primarily about gaining a technology and operational partner for sports betting and online casino and poker in the U.S. market as more states roll those products out.”

A gaming analyst at Jefferies in New York, David Katz, said “A large bookmaking enterprise may be a lot more complicated than MGM thought’’ so GVC would be able to deliver a lot of value.

The CEO of MGM, Jim Murren, is expected to give a detailed report on the joint venture this Thursday during a conference call with investors to discuss the company’s second-quarter results.

Last year, the two companies announced the launch of online casino and poker games in New Jersey under the playMGM brand.