“We’re showing that we can compete and have every intention to do so,” those were the words of an assured Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM, on day two of the Canadian Gaming Summit (CGS).
Speaking with broadcaster Ryan Doyle in a fireside chat, the BetMGM CEO elaborated on numerous aspects of the gaming brand’s journey so far. He also explored the possibility of a legalized Californian market in the near future.
Greenblatt stated: “I think the story of BetMGM is I told you so. What we put in place in 2018 made sense on paper, but it was actually bringing it to life and being able to demonstrate that we can compete with pre-existing brands, the established players, that made the journey much more precise and really exciting.”
BetMGM was one of many operators to go live with its offering in Ontario when the market launched on April 4, a phase that Greenblatt described as “really interesting, really instructive” and “fascinating”.
As audience participation broke out in a bid to discover the successes enjoyed by the entity in the newly regulated region since launch, it was disclosed that during May, the second month of operation, BetMGM transacted 70 million times.
Greenblatt believes this demonstrated that the province boasts a “receptive audience” that is boosted by familiarity, with conversation rates also higher than in the neighboring US.
Inevitably, the conversation turned into a huge talking point throughout this week’s CGS at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, which is that of advertising.
With Doyle quizzing Greenblatt on sustainability from both volume and spending capacities, the BetMGM CEO warned that “sustainability is crucial”.
“It’s a critical issue for all of us,” he continued. “In our industry, our future depends on getting this right. Now, as a challenger brand into established grey markets, we didn’t really have a choice … as a brand to establish ourselves against the incumbents, we needed to step forward in a vocal way.
“We know the numbers, there’s going to be 72 to 73 operators that we know of in Ontario, who are already in the process. So if everybody steps forward in that way, there isn’t the capacity for it all.”
He added: “The economies of scale will, I think, over time, force a degree of consolidation, which will also help to moderate the number of brands we see and the volume of advertising.”
With praise heaped on the brand’s tie-up with MGM Resorts, in addition to relationships with third-party casinos, attention then turned to Califonia and the possibilities offered by the Golden State that has a crucial November ballot question involving legalized sports wagering pending.
“30 million people, fifth-largest global economy, 10% tax rates, sports-mad, this would be really, really fantastic. Importantly, fantastic for our industry,” Greenblatt explained.
“It’s complicated. It is going to require success in the November ballot, [and] will require a concerted effort, concerted lobbying effort, and PR effort, which we’re up for. We are participating and supporting the initiative and are going to do everything we can to see more than 50.1% in that November election.
“So we’re hopeful we remain confident at the moment. But early indications are that this is going to happen. And as I say, not straightforward, but we remain hopeful.”