MGM CEO optimistic about BetMGM but its ‘not where we want it to be’

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MGM Resorts International CEO Bill Hornbuckle has admitted that BetMGM is “not where we want it to be” but is optimistic that Entain’s recent acquisition of Angstrom will change that.

Reflecting on MGM’s second quarter financial results, Hornbuckle noted that BetMGM’s online casino market share has declined during the reporting period as the platform is not as strong as the operator would have liked.

Yet, speaking during a recent earnings call, the MGM CEO is optimistic about the future, as he believes through continued work with Entain – which jointly owns the entity with MGM – and the recently acquired Angstrom, the online platform can improve.

Hornbuckle commented: “Our product is not where we want it to be. I think the moves that we’re now making though with Entain, our partner, with the moves we’re going to make with Angstrom as an onboarded partner for BetMGM, will get us to a place where we’ll be back in that game in a meaningful way and hopefully begin to gain some share back.”

Looking at online casino, Hornbuckle highlighted how BetMGM is continuing to figure out ways to bring sports bettors over to the product through innovation.

“On the casino side, it’s simply sports bettors, about 30 per cent of them migrate over to the casino. If you leave that in the equation, it’s part of the reason igaming comes down a couple of points, but we continue to dominate. We’re not naïve that they’re not coming after us in that forum, but we continue to innovate. 

“I think the moves that we’re now making … will get us to a place where we’ll be back in that game in a meaningful way”

“We’ve got new games going on the floor. Going back to the question we just had around ‘Is it hurting brick-and-mortar?’, we have jackpots that extend from digital over to brick-and-mortar and vice versa. So we’re continuing to figure out ways to tie both products together to promote both ends of the spectrum.”

Hornbuckle also provided an update on MGM’s application for a property in New York. The CEO noted that the operator is yet to hear back from the New York Gaming Facility Location Board after submitting 85 questions about the bill and process.

He said: “I’m hopeful in the next month or so that we’re going to hear something from the Commission and ultimately get the process rolling. As you know, we’ve submitted questions, I think we submitted 85 questions about the actual bill and the process. The moment they begin to return those questions to us, the 90 days start. 

“We’ve not got any specific indication but we do believe it will happen shortly. So that remains on track for some time in 2024, getting licensed and then pushing on from there would be our goal and our hope, but nothing definitive either.”

Last month, BetMGM noted in a trading update that it is on the “path to profitability” after achieving positive EBITDA for the second quarter. The brand also expects to hit near the upper end of its fiscal year 2023 revenue guidance.