This week is turning out to belong to MGM. First, it announces a big joint venture with GVC. Then it announced a deal with old partner Boyd Gaming. What followed this morning was news of its deal to be the NBA official gaming partner. Now MGM is bringing mobile sports betting to New Jersey.
The imminent arrival of sports betting at playMGM has been signaled by a page on its website saying:
“It won’t be long now! Coming to playMGM.com soon, mobile sports betting will be more convenient than ever, thanks to the playMGM NJ Sports betting app. It’s just a matter of time until you’ll be able to place wagers from the bar, the dinner table or anywhere in New Jersey, simply by using your own personal mobile device. Stay tuned for more details. Bet on sports now at Borgata Race & Sports Book.”
Today, MGM CEO Jim Murren, speaking after the NBA announcement in New York, let the cat out of the bag. Soon means really soon, in fact by the end of this week!
“Fortunately we have a running start here, because we operate the largest sports betting operation in Las Vegas with our 10 resorts. We hub out of the Mirage property, but as you know, we own properties up and down the Las Vegas Boulevard. And our playMGM app has been active for quite some time and is already quite popular.
Closer to home here, of course we own Borgata, and at the end of this week, we’ll be taking mobile bets from Borgata and playMGM in New Jersey.’
playMGM sports betting app already live in NV
The current playMGM New Jersey app was developed by bwin.party before it was taken over by GVC. The GVC platform is also used by the Borgata and PartyCasino.
Murren’s statement indicated that sports betting will go mobile. However, presumably, it will be on the same IGT-powered sports betting platform as the playMGM betting app in Nevada.
According to the deal announced between MGM and GVC, their joint venture will primarily use the playMGM brand for all its interactive games—poker, casino, and sports betting. However, for the moment, the existing sports betting app lacks the GVC touch.
NJ playMGM app could do with some love and attention
Up till now, the playMGM app has not made a name for itself as one of the best mobile gambling apps in the New Jerey market. The focus on the brand that the joint venture will bring should mean that the mobile app gets more attention.
In the presentation slides for the MGM/GVC deal, GVC boasts that it has over 1,000 IT staff. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to predict that the playMGM app is going to come in for some additional development.
The marketplace is becoming extremely competitive and each company that wants a piece of the action is going to have to fight for market share.
Jim Murren commented on MGM’s differentiator:
“So I think that the experienced gaming customer, and even the novice, is really going to gravitate toward integrity, trust, branding, information. And I think this provides us a tremendous advantage over my competitors.”
He may be right, but only after the nuts and bolts of the technology meet the performance expectations of today’s demanding punters.