- Caesars Entertainment is partnering with the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks for mobile sports betting access in the state.
- Caesars will also operate a state-of-the-art sportsbook on the plaza adjacent to Chase Field.
- Ceasars joins FanDuel and DraftKings in the Arizona market–all of whom have partnered with professional sports organizations in the state.
Hard to believe that it was just a few years ago that the various North American professional sports leagues fought tooth and nail to keep legal sports betting out of the United States. Times have changed and they’ve changed *fast*–not only are leagues and teams looking for every angle they can to monetize sports betting in some jurisdictions they’re going into the bookmaking business. Arizona is one such market–the regulatory framework allows certain tribal gaming entities to offer sports betting along with professional sports organizations. The ink was barely dry on the newly minted legislation before the NBA Phoenix Suns and the PGA Tour announced partnership deals with FanDuel and DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) respectively.
You can add a third sports betting company set to offer mobile betting in Arizona and a third Phoenix area professional sports organization set to get into the bookmaking business–earlier today Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) announced a market access deal with the Major League Baseball Arizona Diamondbacks. In addition, Caesars will build a ‘first-class sportsbook and bar concept’ on the plaza adjacent to Chase Field. More specifically, it will be a ‘brand-new, state-of-the-art sportsbook, sports bar and broadcast studio at the location formerly known as Game 7 Grill on the Plaza at Chase Field’. Probably not coincidentally, Caesars also finalized a deal with Major League Baseball to become an Authorized Gaming Operator of the league.
One of the hardest working CEOs in the gaming industry, Caesars Tom Reeg gave the obligatory quote for his company:
“We have long enjoyed successful gaming operations in Arizona and are delighted to expand into sports betting alongside the Arizona Diamondbacks. Together, we have the opportunity to create new ways for baseball fans to engage with the game both in-person near the ballpark and online anywhere in Arizona. Our ability to tie those into our Caesars Rewards network will create an unbeatable experience for any sports fan.”
D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall spoke effusively of Caesars and gives the impression that the mobile betting app and the retail sportsbook will carry the William Hill branding:
“We went through a thorough process to identify the ideal partner that would bring experience and the strongest of reputations in legalized gaming. Caesars is considered the cream of the crop and aligns with our philosophy when it comes to professionalism, brand presentation, and customer treatment and brings its best in class William Hill mobile sports book product and retail sports betting expertise. Equally important, we went through our strong due diligence to find the industry leader in the education and execution of responsible gaming.”
While I’m not 100% sold on letting the pro sports teams jump right on the sports betting money truck after they spent so many years fighting it I generally like what they’re doing in Arizona. There’s still plenty of chances for them to screw things up as they get into the sausage making of writing regulations but the fact that they’ve already got some companies invested in the process bodes well. Generally speaking, it’s a win/win/win for Caesars, the Diamondbacks and sports betting. The more that sports betting gets ‘mainstreamed’ like this the better it is for the entire industry.
At the time of publication, James Murphy has a long position in CZR.