MGM Exec: “Clunky” New BetMGM Rewards Still in “a Transition”

BetMGM celebrates $850 million in net revenue in 2021, a five-fold increase from 2020, as it looks ahead to Illinois, Ontario launches in 2022.
BetMGM Logo. BetMGM tops the US online casino gambling and sports betting verticals across the board, following great growth in 2021 and Jan 2022, plans to expand further into IL and Ontario Canada
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February 17, 2022

Frankly, it’s a little clunky. It needs to be fully integrated to the point where it’s a smooth transition for a customerMGM Resorts International executives reiterated plans for BetMGM — the 50-50 joint venture (JV) between MGM and Entain – to launch its products in Illinois and Ontario by April, 2022.

The executives also acknowledged that MGM’s new loyalty rewards program — MGM Rewards, which launched on February 1 and replaced the M life Rewards program — needed to be integrated further into the BetMGM platform in order to get more customers involved in online sports betting and casino play.

“Frankly, it’s a little clunky,” COO Corey Sanders said of MGM Rewards during an MGM earnings call last week. “It needs to be fully integrated to the point where it’s a smooth transition for a customer. They need to be able to take their gaming activity on BetMGM, get recognized and rewarded for it, and get onto their phone in some way, shape, or form to take advantage of something at a brick-and-mortar property.”

Sanders added that the broader change behind MGM Rewards is to recognize the retail spending of their customers.

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“It’s a transition,” the COO said. “There’s a two-step process that we wanted to see go away. I think once customers are properly recognized and they understand the value of all of the things we have to offer — whether it’s Las Vegas or some of our regional destinations — we’re going to be highly rewarded for it. But the reformat of MGM Rewards in terms of BetMGM is really more about the technology platform and getting the linkage, pure and simple.”

In its Q4 2021 presentation, MGM reported that it has more than 37 million members in its rewards program. MGM also said 14% of new BetMGM players in 2021 were also active with MGM, and that 10% of BetMGM players are currently enrolled in MGM Rewards. The company also reported that 42% of new M life Rewards players in 2021 were from BetMGM.

MGM Says BetMGM Tops in US for iGaming

We expect the momentum to continue into 2022.BetMGM is currently live in 21 jurisdictions, after launching in Louisiana and New York in January. The operator also launched retail sports betting in Puerto Rico this month, with an online launch scheduled for later this year. MGM said BetMGM created $850 million in net revenue in 2021 from its operations, a five-fold increase from 2020.

“We expect the momentum to continue into 2022, with BetMGM expecting to deliver net revenue from operations of over $1.3 billion,” CFO Jonathan Halkyard said. “We continue to believe that BetMGM is one of the most attractive growth opportunities for our company and one that will generate meaningful returns on our investment.”

During a business update last month, BetMGM announced MGM and Entain will invest $450 million in the joint venture (JV) in 2022.

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MGM expects BetMGM to go live in Illinois in March, followed by Ontario later this year. Near the end of the call, CEO Bill Hornbuckle said BetMGM would launch in the Canadian province in April.

BetMGM is the top operator for online sports and casino gambling in the US and is second in terms of sports betting and iGaming overall, by MGM’s calculations. The operator held a 29% share of the iGaming market across all jurisdictions where BetMGM was live in the fourth quarter.

Halkyard said MGM’s 50% share of BetMGM’s losses in Q4 2021 totaled $57 million. The company’s share of losses for the full year amounted to $211 million. MGM said it expects BetMGM to reach positive EBIDTA (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization) in 2023.

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