Caesars Wagers on Sports Betting
Caesars Entertainment Group is looking to its sports betting business to boost its bottom line.
Mark Frissora, President and CEO, shared some details of the company’s expansion into digital betting in quarterly earnings call with analysts. On October 31, Caesars received a license in Pennsylvania to expand its sports betting in the Keystone State. This comes on the heels of the company’s New Jersey launch of a mobile betting app that’s fully integrated with Caesars loyalty program, Total Rewards, and caesarscasino.com, “which saw a 20% increase in September as customers played between products,” he said.
Sports bonusing features were recently added to the app, and the company is readying for even more traffic, adding a larger sports operations and marketing team as the entertainment company ramps up the app’s official launch later this month. “With these actions, we expect to drive increased volume from the initial launch period,” said Frissora.
“We expect sports betting to become an increasingly important component of our overall business in the future. As part of our broad-based efforts to raise our profile with sports fans, we recently announced several high-level partnerships with pro sports teams and venues,” said Frissora, including the Las Vegas Raiders, Philadelphia 76ers and Baltimore Ravens.
With more than 55 million members, Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards program continues to drive cross-property visitation, said Frissora. It’s also a goldmine of data that the entertainment company leverages.
“Our technology investments across the company have helped us draw increasingly valuable customer insights from the database, allowing us to generate strong returns in our marketing investments and drive growth in our core business,” he said.
Third quarter net income was $110 million compared to a loss of $433 million in the prior year period, attributed to the consolidation of Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. and acquisition of Centaur Gaming.
"We are making important progress against our growth strategy with the integration of Centaur, expansion of our U.S. sports betting business and the creation or renewal of partnerships with six professional sports organizations,” he said. “We have the right strategies in place and are confident in our ability to create value for shareholders over the long-term, as evidenced by our repurchase of $311 million in shares year to date."
One thing that will not be in place in the long term is Frissora himself. He is stepping down Feb. 8. His departure is fueling speculation, including media reports such as this one in the NY Post, about a possible sale or merger with MGM.
The company also announced Nov. 1 that it had rejected the Golden Nugget casino chain’s offer to buy it in a reverse merger.