Three Take-aways from G2E 2018

We’re already looking forward to G2E 2019.

Our expectations were high.

Yes, sports betting was everywhere, and the Sports Betting Symposium that the AGA put together performed really well, and educated a lot of us stakeholders about the rapidly evolving state of affairs.

Sports Betting dominated every conversation (mobile gaming, market/state access, deal flow/acquisitions, sports leagues, etc.)

Our three take-aways from G2E 2018:

1. The post-PASPA sports betting enthusiasm expressed to date is now matched by significant numbers coming out of ‘early adopter’ states.

For September, New Jersey reported $184,000,000 in sports betting handle, with 57%, or $105,000,000, coming from online/mobile.

Nevada, West Virginia, Mississippi and Delaware will be reporting September results soon, and there was general optimism among industry players that the numbers would exceed expectations.

In any case, we’re encouraged. And the palpable enthusiasm at the first G2E that saw a legal sports bet taken outside Nevada feels a little more justified.

2. New Mexico became ‘State #6’ and snuck up on many industry observers.

Sports betting was apparently omitted in the compact between the tribes and the state. Interesting to see how this plays out in other states with any ambiguity in their compacts with tribes.

Sports betting legislation and impending regulation continues to move forward in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois and other states.

3. M&A, deal-making and decision-making exceeded expectations.

OK. So some of these deals finally closed, some waited for a timely announcement window, we get it.

Doesn’t change the fact that a number of deals fell in to place in September and October, and G2E 2018 was the place to announce it.

Some of the big ones:

* SG Digital acquires Don Best Sports
* Wynn Resorts invests in BetBull
* El Dorado completed the acquisition of Tropicana
* FanDuel on Alexa
* DraftKings partners (further) with MLB

OK. So some of these had been in the crock-pot for a while, we know, but it was a bit of fun to see the reveal, in some cases.

A few H/T’s

* AGA and G2E: for putting on a great event. And, thanks for the hospitality.

* GeoComply: great event for a great cause. True class act here.

* Ewa, ICE and Clarion Gaming for the Ampersand meetings and reception.

We’ll see you at Sports Betting USA in November!

And, at G2E 2019 next year.

See you there.