BetMGM may be ‘radio quiet’ but Greenblatt ready to speak out

BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt
Image: SBC

Towards the start of his fireside chat with CNBC’s Contessa Brewer at SBC Summit North America, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt began by acknowledging that the brand is having a quiet 2024. While Brewer dubbed it “radio silence”, Greenblatt clarified the brand is still making some noise.

BetMGM is “reestablishing momentum” in 2024

“Part of the reason for not radio silence but radio quiet is because 2024 is the year that BetMGM reestablishes our momentum and there are three parts to our strategy for the year: There is continuing our journey to best product, there is marketing share of voice and marketing efficiency,” he explained.

BetMGM is still on the podium in most states and overall in the U.S. but Greenblatt admits there is still room for improvement.

I think it’s actually the momentum in our podium position that we’re seeking to improve on and are going to improve on. These are momentum businesses.”

He also noted that the mindset internally is not that BetMG is “losing ground” in the online casino space. He also noted that BetMGM is starting to really benefit from Entain’s acquisition of Angstrom Sports, which has improved SGP pricing and helped BetMGM push its position as the “home of the home run” for MLB bettors.

“We are the number one gaming operator in Ontario with 22% market share and 20% aggregate market share in the US in gaming.”

Greenblatt speaks on utility-player parlays

Beyond speaking about the brand, Greenblatt also offered his take on some of the hot topics of the industry, including the Ippei Mizuhara scandal and whether or not operators should be trying to get certain customers away from the black market.

“This is actually an important topic. And I think the steps that we as an industry regulators, our lawmakers and our league partners take on this will determine whether we will be successful in looking after our industry and looking after our players. If we are so naive to believe that the under is not available in the illegal market then we are misguided,” Greemblatt argued.

Brewer pushed back at some of his assertions though.

“If you’re embezzling money, millions and millions of dollars from your friend/employer, are you really gonna go put that down at DraftKings?”

Greenblatt maintained that keeping markets open on lesser-known players like Jontay Porter instead of closing them down or putting extreme limits on them.

“I think what a legalized market does is brings a degree of transparency to all wagers, but legalizing the space is is part of the overall picture. We need to legalize and we also need to take steps against the illegal market. To make flow of funds more challenging, to make access to media and advertising more challenging unless you’re part of the club,” he said.

“I’m comfortable that the best way to make transparent all of the activity in and around the game, which frankly is the only way to ensure integrity long-term, is best achieved by regulated sports betting, strong partnerships between ourselves, teams, leagues, regulators.”

Federal government can get out of gaming’s shorts

When Brewer inquired about potential federal intervention if the industry continues to fend off cheating and scandals, Greenblatt did not think that was the path forward. Moreover, he even paraphrased “The Simpsons” when noting that the idea the federal government should oversee sports betting was decided in 2018 with the repeal of PASPA.

“We shouldn’t forget that the birth of our sector in the U.S. was enabled by the state of New Jersey telling the federal government, ‘get out of my shorts’.”