As Taylor Swift said, “August slipped away into a moment in time” as we’re now into September which brings the kickoff of the new NFL season. Since the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, sports betting has exploded as an industry. 22 states plus Washington D.C. now have sports betting legalized in some form, and many more are expected to join them – Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are hoping to launch sports betting at some point during the upcoming NFL season.
Some of the biggest sportsbooks in the United States are part of larger media conglomerates or gaming and hospitality brands, and many of those companies are publicly traded. The sports betting and media industry has seen great success over the past month. The Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (NYSE: BETZ) is up 13.87% over the past month compared to 2.98% for the S&P 500. BETZ is a first-of-its-kind ETF that attempts to tap into the rapidly-growing sports betting industry. Let’s take a look at some of the big performers in the month of August.
DraftKings (NYSE: DKNG) was up 22.5% in the month of August. DraftKings had an eventful month of partnerships including an agreement with Genius Sports, a sports data and analytics solutions company, and the acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming for $1.56 billion. Golden Nugget will help DraftKings vastly expand its online casino offerings. The company also launched its new NFT market, starting with exclusive Tom Brady NFTs. DraftKings announced $298 million in Q2 revenue, up 320% from the same period in 2020. The SEC’s ongoing investigation into alleged black-market gaming and money laundering in connection with DraftKings’ newly acquired SBTech will dictate some of the events over the coming months.
Caesars (NYSE: CZR) was up 16.33% in the month of August. Caesars entered into a new agreement with the Houston Texans which will include activations in and around NRG Stadium in Houston. Caesars also is partnering with NCAA Football’s Fiesta Bowl in the first major partnership between a sports betting operator and a bowl game. The Wall Street Journal reported that Caesars could be involved, along with DraftKings, in a potential $3 billion agreement with ESPN to license the Walt Disney brand in a new sportsbook product. Caesars reported $86 million in Q2 revenue from its Caesars Digital segment compared to $11 million in the same quarter in 2020.
Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming (NYSE: PENN) was up 18.6% in the month of August. On August 5, Penn National Gaming announced it would acquire Score Media and Gaming Inc., a Canadian sports media and betting firm, for about $2 billion of cash and stock. theScore Bet will become the second front-facing sportsbook brand for Penn alongside Barstool Sportsbook. Barstool Sports is currently in discussions with Major League Baseball about plans to broadcast games. Penn National Gaming reported earnings of $198.7 million in Q2, up from -$213.9 million in the same period last year.
Wynn (NYSE: WYNN) was up 3.41% in the month of August. WynnBet was approved as a sports betting operator by the NFL along with a handful of other sportsbook operators. WynnBet is also in the midst of a new $100 million advertising campaign featuring celebrities such as actor Ben Affleck and former NBA player and now TV analyst Shaquille O’Neal. The new advertisements showcase WynnBet’s unique position as a social-focused sportsbook. Wynn reported Q2 revenues of $990.1 million, up from $85.7 million during the same period in 2020 as Las Vegas resorts re-opened and its sports betting offerings continued to grow.
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) was up 13.56% in the month of August. BetMGM had a big month as it was one of the sports betting operators to be approved by the NFL. MGM Resorts International is also selling Las Vegas Strip land valued at $17.2 billion to VICI Properties Inc., a New York-based firm, presumably to focus more on new geographical locations and online sports betting. MGM reported Q2 revenues of about $2.3 billion, up 682% from the $298.8 million reported in the same period a year ago.