Two weeks ago, we learned that Scientific Games (SG) had extended a long-standing gaming partnership with Golden Nugget to deliver sports betting through OpenSports.
The deployment of OpenSports will start with mobile sports betting in New Jersey (NJ) with additional states included pending regulation. There is also an option to roll out the product in retail locations across multiple states.
We spoke to Jordan Levin, Group Chief Executive, Digital for Scientific Games, on why the timing was right to “ramp up the relationship”, the importance of providing an ‘Americanised’ product set for the US market, and why the scope for sports betting has cemented the need for the most reliable betting engine.
SBC: How did this expansion to your igaming-based deal with Golden Nugget come about?
JL: We have a successful longstanding relationship with Golden Nugget across our business lines. We provide them with systems, table games, slots, shufflers and more on the land-based side.
On the Digital side, we have been instrumental in partnering with Golden Nugget as one of the earliest pioneers of the regulated iGaming market in New Jersey.
And with the continued boom not only in online gaming, but also the growth of sports betting in the U.S., the time was right to ramp up the relationship and prepare for market expansion in those arenas.
Essentially, it was a perfect combination of an existing relationship, proven and reliable solutions, and the right timing.
SBC: Is this sportsbook deal restricted to certain states or for all those with regulation in place?
JL: We’re starting with mobile sports betting in New Jersey, likely expansion of iGaming to Pennsylvania, and the agreement includes additional states as they regulate. Golden Nugget also has the option to install our OpenSports retail solutions in New Jersey, Mississippi, and Nevada.
The deal is structured so they can maximize the iGaming opportunity across the country as new markets pop up, and we’ll be ready to support them with our tech and services.
SBC: It is the latest example of companies circling back to SG, and specifically OpenBet, after trying their hand elsewhere post PASPA; in an era of so many competing providers how important is the betting engine to an operator’s success?
JL: When choosing a supplier, operators seek a true partner that will deliver a reliable, memorable entertainment experience sought by their players. Alongside the partnership, the sports betting engine is a huge driver of our customers’ sports betting success, especially in the States.
To put it in perspective, our platform, during peak events such as the World Cup, processes more transactions than the world’s leading online retailer on Black Friday in the UK. The scope of sports betting is huge, and operators need an engine to support those numbers. With the U.S. now in the mix, more sports and viewers stream in, further cementing that need for reliability.
SBC: Why is SG better placed to help Golden Nugget to sportsbook success?
JL: We have the full suite of OpenSports backing Golden Nugget. We’re constantly innovating on our platform’s features to keep it at the forefront of the industry. Particularly in the U.S., we also have Don Best Sports setting the industry standard for pricing and trading.
We’ve done the heavy lifting with our other partners, we have a deep understanding of the players and the most Americanised product set in the U.S. market. We have proven success globally and know how to launch a sportsbook in the States.
SBC: What are your short-term goals for the sportsbook partnership? What would constitute a successful first year?
JL: We want to launch our platforms and offer players a seamless betting experience, start to finish. A successful first year would see mobile live in New Jersey with full online betting technology available for all major 2020 sporting events, plus additional launches in retail as Golden Nugget starts to ramp up their presence in the industry.