The Stars Group partners Eldorado Resorts to expand US reach

26 November 2018

PokerStars operator The Stars Group has entered into an agreement with Reno-headquartered casino operator Eldorado Resorts to gain access to iGaming markets in 11 US states.

The agreement grants The Stars Group the option to launch online sports betting, poker and casino in states where Eldorado currently owns or operates casino properties.

This provides the operator with a route into Nevada, Mississippi and West Virginia, three states in which sports betting regulations have already been passed. It also gives the operator access to Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio, all of which are expected to legalise betting and gaming in some form.

Coupled with the operator’s live betting and gaming operation in New Jersey, launched in partnership with Resorts Digital, and its agreement to enter Pennsylvania’s iGaming market with Mount Airy Casino Resort, it now has access to 13 US states.

The agreement comes with the provision that The Stars Group will be given first refusal on launching a sportsbook skin in states where Eldorado owns or operates more than one casino property, and second skin access in all other states.

“We are excited to announce this agreement with Eldorado, one of the fastest growing regional gaming companies in the United States,” The Stars Group chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi commented.

“This agreement establishes the foundation for our US strategy as we tactically pursue access to other key states and opportunities with potential media partners.”

The agreement is based on Eldorado receiving a share of revenue generated from the offerings operated by The Stars Group in each applicable state. In addition, the operator will issue Eldorado 1m common shares at a price of $23.22 per share, for a total value of around $25m. It will receive an additional $5m, to be paid in common shares, once The Stars Group takes up its first option to launch iGaming through the agreement.

Eldorado will also be entitled to additional common shares at a price of $23.22 per share, based on the revenue generated through The Stars Group’s roll-out of iGaming in the states covered by the deal.

Eldorado chairman and chief executive Gary Carano (pictured) described his company’s latest partner as one of the world’s largest, most licensed and most diverse listed gaming operators in terms of product and geographic reach.

“We are excited to work with The Stars Group to capitalize on their proven ability to leverage their products to gain share in the growing market for online gaming,” he added.

It the second market access agreement struck by Eldorado in recent months. In September it agreed a similar deal with William Hill, which also saw the UK operator named its exclusive digital and land-based sports betting service provider.

Image: Eldorado Resorts