The Stars Group & Eldorado Team To Expand US Online Gaming Footprint

Posted on November 27, 2018

The Stars Group (TSG), the parent company of PokerStars and BetStars, has made it very clear they want to be a significant player in the US sports betting market.

This week, they took one step closer to achieving that goal. TSG signed a 20-year agreement with Eldorado Resorts expanding TSG’s reach into as many as 13 states.

Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive officer of the Stars Group, commented on the agreement in a press release.

“We are excited to announce this agreement with Eldorado, one of the fastest growing regional gaming companies in the United States. This agreement establishes the foundation for our U.S. strategy as we tactically pursue access to other key states and opportunities with potential media partners.”

Eldorado and The Stars Group details

According to the agreement, Eldorado will offer TSG access to its second skin for online sports wagering. Also, TSG will have an option to access Eldorado’s third skin to operate US real money online gaming and poker operations.

In return, TSG will provide Eldorado $25 million equity interest in the company. Plus, Eldorado may receive $5 million in TSG equity after its first option.

Gary Carano, chairman and chief executive officer of Eldorado, made the following statement upon announcement of the deal.

“The Stars Group is one of the world’s largest, most licensed and most geographically and product diverse publicly listed online gaming companies. We are excited to work with the Stars Group to capitalize on their proven ability to leverage their products to gain share in the growing market for online gaming.”

More about Eldorado

The agreement with the Stars Group follows a deal Eldorado made with William Hill in early September. William Hill will remain Eldorado’s exclusive partner for retail sports betting. William Hill agreed to the new arrangement and stands to profit from the deal.

Eldorado operates 28 properties in 13 states. Four of those states already offer sports betting:

Eldorado also has two properties in Pennsylvania, which is nearing the launch of online gaming with online sports betting to follow.

However, Eldorado recently agreed to sell Presque Isle Downs & Casino and turn over the management of Lady Luck Casino to Churchill Downs Inc.

Eldorado also operates in:

The only state from the list that hasn’t shown any interest in sports betting is Florida. Although, it has only been six months since the repeal of PASPA.

We are still in the early days of legal sports betting in the US. The landscape will certainly look different a year from now. Undoubtedly, that is what the Stars Group is counting on.

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The Stars Group

The Stars Group doesn’t need Eldorado to operate online gaming in Pennsylvania. In August, the Stars Group partnered with Mount Airy Casino in PA. Under the agreement, TSG plans to offer online casino gambling, mobile sports betting and poker.

It also doesn’t need Eldorado for New Jersey. BetStars, the Stars Group’s sports betting app, launched its mobile sports betting app in New Jersey in mid-September under the Resorts Casino license.

It is hard to know exactly how well the company is doing in NJ, though. NJ sports betting revenue is not broken out per operator, it is reported by the license holder.

DraftKings also operates under the Resorts license. There is no doubt that DraftKings is the leader in the space. However, together, the two sites commanded 60 percent of the online sports betting market for October.

The Stars Group’s vision is “to become the world’s favorite iGaming destination, and its mission is to provide its customers with winning moments.”

The company’s agreement with Eldorado brings that vision one step closer, at least in the US sports betting and gaming markets.

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Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.

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