- Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino Resort has announced a partnership with USBookmaking for retail sports betting.
- USBookmaking was founded by legendary Las Vegas bookmaker Vic Salerno and is now a subsidiary of Elys Game Technology.
- The Ocean Casino/USBookmaking partnership is slated to begin in March 2022.
Interesting announcement coming out of Atlantic City where the Ocean Casino Resort has announced future plans for mobile and retail sports betting along with iGaming. Ocean will partner with USBookmaking for ‘trading management services and a future retail solution’. USBookmaking is a Las Vegas based company founded by sports betting legend Vic Salerno that was acquired by Elys Game Technology in September 2021. Elys Game Technology is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in Europe.
This is an interesting situation from several angles starting with the selection of USBookmaking. USBookmaking has previously specialized in the tribal gaming market with retail betting at the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel, Isleta Resort & Casino and Santa Claran Hotel Casino in New Mexico, the Odawa Casino Resort in Michigan, the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Colorado and the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge in North Dakota. The company also provides mobile sports betting for the Sky Ute Casino. Elys Game Technology purchased USBookmaking specifically to solidify their position in the US sports betting market but it is something of a surprise to see them moving into the Atlantic City market so quickly.
When Elys Game Technology acquired USBookmaking they made clear that they wanted to keep the company as a separate entity:
USB will become an integral part of Elys’ U.S. facing brand and will continue to operate as a wholly owned business unit maintaining its well-established brand, employees, management, and bookmaking team. The acquisition of USB provides Elys with an operational footprint in 4 states (New Mexico, Colorado, Michigan and North Dakota) with 2 additional states (Washington, D.C. and Iowa) in progress and provide a significant boost to client base and revenue when fully integrated. The transaction represents a fundamental strategic partnership that completes an important pillar of the Company’s business plan to build out in the U.S. and Canadian sports betting markets.
The partnership is slated to begin in March 2022 subject to USBookmaking and Elys acquiring the necessary licensing from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Here’s what Bill Callahan, Interim Chief Executive Officer for Ocean Casino Resort, said about the selection of USBookmaking for their retail sportsbook operations:
“We are excited to partner with USBookmaking to capitalize on their expertise, offering a best-in-class experience. As Ocean continues to strengthen its position within Atlantic City, the addition of a renowned organization such as USBookmaking should only serve to bolster our land-based wagering product.”
The press release also offered quotes from USBookmaking President Vic Salerno:
“USBookmaking looks forward to deepening its relationship with Ocean over the next several years. The combination of Ocean’s knowledge of the Atlantic City players’ market and our collective 125+ years of sports wagering experience make for a formidable recipe for success. The Atlantic City market may be competitive, but with Ocean as our partner, USBookmaking is more than ready to take on the challenge.
and a quote from Michele Ciavarella, Executive Chairman of Elys Game Technology:
“We are delighted to partner with Ocean to offer a highly entertaining and competitive sports wagering product. Our cutting-edge technology built in the competitive European market, coupled with the extensive experience of our USBookmaking team represents our capability of deploying our North American go-to-market strategy in a wide range of assignments including large premier casino resorts such as Ocean. We are just starting our global expansion plan and fully expect to see rapid adoption of our advanced Elys Gameboard betting technology in the United States and Canada in the coming months.”
Another interesting component of this story–The Sportsbook at Ocean is currently operated by William Hill. This is another sign that Ceasars Entertainment could be planning to get out of the third party sportsbook management business altogether as soon as they are able. They’ve still got a fair number of William Hill outlets in Nevada along with a racebook in Florida and a retail betting operation in the Bahamas. As we’ve seen at other properties undertaking the process of moving on from William Hill every reference to the brand has been scrubbed from the Ocean Sportsbook web presence:
Late last year, however, there was plenty of references to William Hill:
The only way you’d know now that the Ocean Sportsbook was affiliated with William Hill is that several links to the wagering and in-play wagering menus resolve to www.williamhill.us. They’re still listed as the operator with the State of New Jersey as well.
Finally, you have to wonder if USBookmaking will take over the Ocean Casino Sportsbook and iGaming mobile app in the future. Ocean currently has a market access partnership Tipico Sportsbook and they offer iGaming through a self branded app. As you can see from the screenshot above, they referred mobile betting clients to William Hill previously but as of now they have no additional mobile sports betting affiliation other than with Tipico. GAN technology powers the Ocean Casino iGaming and they could also take over sports betting. You think they’d want some type of self branded mobile sports betting platform–particularly in a market with such strong mobile betting performance.