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betting landscape including IGT. More players and operators and the industry have created some unique partnerships as companies look to expand their footprints. “The expansion of sports betting in the US continues to be

very positive for IGT,” says Charles Cohen, IGT/PlayDigital vice president of sports betting. “IGT paired its decades of experience in international sports betting, with our well- established relationships with operators and regulators across the US to create a turnkey solution for commercial, lottery, and tribal gaming operators.” That includes powering sports betting in six states and offering technology solutions to providers such as FanDuel and DraftKings. These former daily fantasy sports companies have expanded quickly into sports betting industries and lead the market in New Jersey. IGT’s PlayShot technology was certified in Nevada four

years ago through a partnership with MGM, and in total the company processed over $12 billion of sports bets in 2018 – and continues to grow. Not only does the new market seem to be bringing in new

players and partnerships to the industry, but also added innovation. Scientific Games completely redesigned its sportsbook product in April as it seeks to grow. “We view OpenSports as an evolution of our already-strong OpenBet technology,” says Keith O’Loughlin, executive vice president of sportsbook. “The reaction so far has been great because we’re offering partners exactly what they want: the freedom to choose the technologies that work best for their business.” SG already serves 30 sports customers around the world, and OpenSports has drawn interest from others recently, O’Loughlin notes. OpenSports is live in three states with Caesars and SG recently announced an agreement with Wynn Resorts to launch sports betting and iGaming in New

Jersey. The company has also partnered with the Oneida Indian Nation in New York, and handles sports betting solutions for the Delaware Lottery. O’Loughlin notes that while many companies are trying to

carve a niche in the industry, those who understand what American bettors expect and favour will find success. “In the US, fully understanding the consumer is the prime

directive,” he says. “US bettors have different tastes than players from the UK or Australia or anywhere else, and operators are keen to keep up with those tastes and cater their sports offerings accordingly.”

A Dynamic Market

The American states were meant by the founding fathers as a way to experiment and try new things with democracy and government. When it comes to sports betting, that seems to be taking shape as well – especially in the mobile space. One example of those kinds of dynamics is the entrance of PointsBet into the New Jersey market. The Australian company debuted its mobile sports betting app in January, and announced a unique partnership with Topgolf to rebrand its bars as PointsBet venues. The combination creates something new in the mobile environment – an unofficial sportsbook without traditional betting windows. The deal combines sports betting with a traditional

entertainment venue with PointsBet-branded bar areas featuring live game odds, the opportunity to unlock special offers, and rewards for downloading the PointsBet mobile app. Patrons can have a few drinks with friends and easily make a bet while they take in that night’s New York Giants or New Jersey Devils game. “The Topgolf New Jersey partnership has been a great example of two exciting companies coming together,” says Ron

JULY 2019 45

Melinda Nagy/Adobe Stock

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