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GVC and MGM Resorts confirm $200m joint venture

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GVC Holdings, the owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, has confirmed its $200m (£153m) tie-up with the world’s biggest casino operator.

GVC and MGM Resorts International, owner of famous Las Vegas brands including the MGM Grand, Bellagio and The Mirage, will be equal partners in the venture to create a sports betting and interactive gaming platform in the US.

The new enterprise will cement the companies’ bid to dominate what is poised to become a multibillion-dollar US sports betting market, following the loosening of restrictions in the country.

The firms said they were “excited” about the launch ahead of the upcoming professional American football season.

The announcement comes after Sky News revealed that GVC and MGM would finalise the details of a long-term joint venture over the weekend.

GVC shares were up 6% in early trading.

The deal will combine GVC’s technology expertise and platforms with the reach and brand of MGM, one of the world’s biggest hospitality groups.

The pact will likely include a commitment of around 25 years from GVC and MGM, with an option in their agreement to buy each other out after 10 years, according to one source.

The companies said the new business will be headquartered in a “major US technology hub” and have a board of directors with an equal number of representatives from MGM and GVC.

But Sky News understands the deal will get under way in Nevada, the only state where sports betting remained legal after the passing of laws in 1992.

GVC and MGM plan to expand the partnership to other states which legalise the pastime, with as many as 15 likely to do so in the near future.

Ladbrokes
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Ladbrokes owners GVC say the venture will take advantage of a new ruling to legalise betting in individual US states

GVC said the venture will be “well positioned” to take advantage of new opportunities in the US after a supreme court ruling freed individual states to legalise gambling.

Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said: “MGM Resorts is a world-leading entertainment business and the most trusted name in gaming, with the highest quality brands and management, and strong sports connectivity.

“This combined with GVC’s technology and experience in successfully building online gaming businesses across multiple markets presents a truly exciting opportunity for US players and our respective shareholders.

“To be able to team up with a partner with such pedigree and knowledge, particularly in the US, is a real opportunity for GVC.”

MGM Resorts chairman and chief executive Jim Murren said: “With MGM Resorts’ expertise and leading position in key markets across the US, this historic partnership will be positioned to become the instant leader in technology, market access, sports relationships and brands.”

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