BetMGM Could Rise In Indiana’s Sports Betting Market With IAC As New Investor

Posted on August 13, 2020 - Last Updated on September 3, 2020

Billionaire Barry Diller is getting in on the gambling business.

IAC, Diller’s tech and media conglomerate, just bought a big stake in MGM Resorts.

IAC spent about $1 billion for a 12% stake in the company.

Online gambling a huge factor in IAC investment in MGM

Diller has been looking for a big play for some time. Some of his bigger successes have come from companies like Tinder, Expedia and Vimeo.

Now, Diller and IAC are looking to get a foothold in the world of online gambling.

The global gaming industry is worth over $450 billion, and Diller believes MGM has a nice foothold in the area. After all, the company owns over 35% of the hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip.

However, as more and more states legalize online casinos and sports betting, the bigger the new opportunity for online revenue becomes.

Diller says that potential for future growth is what got him interested in a deal in the first place.

“What initially attracted us to MGM, besides its leadership in leisure, hospitality and gaming, was an area that currently comprises a tiny portion of its revenue – online gaming. There is a digital first opportunity within MGM Resorts’ already impressive offline businesses, and with our experience we hope we can strongly contribute to the growth of online gaming.”

Right now, if you want to get in on the online gambling action, you need to be physically present in the state you’re operating in. This deal gives IAC that kind of access.

The company is hoping to give MGM some help with the online side of things. Since IAC has so much experience with online companies, it can lend a helping hand as BetMGM starts to expand.

BetMGM makes its mark in Indiana

Diller bought his stake of MGM for the company’s online wing. BetMGM lets its users play online casino games, in addition to its sportsbook offerings.

Indiana doesn’t have regulated online casinos yet, but that side of BetMGM has still been successful elsewhere.

Online casinos are incredibly profitable, and BetMGM has seen a lot of traffic in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

That would likely be the case in Indiana as well, should the state ever legalize online casino gaming.

In the meantime, BetMGM Sportsbook is the company’s only presence in the Hoosier State.

The sportsbook had a bumpy start to its Indiana endeavor, but things are starting to turn around.

BetMGM launched in Indiana right before the COVID-19 shutdowns began. That didn’t give it a great chance to establish itself in the state’s market.

With no sports to bet on, BetMGM struggled during its first few months. However, since then, the sportsbook has been outperforming its competitors.

BetMGM pulled in the third-biggest handle out of all Indiana’s sportsbooks in July. Only DraftKings and FanDuel had a better month.

Now that Diller has a piece of the pie, he’ll get to reap the benefits of the sportsbook’s success in Indiana.

BetMGM will continue to grow over the coming months now that sports are back.

With Diller and IAC bringing some online expertise to the sportsbook, BetMGM could end up being one of the major players in Indiana for years to come.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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