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BlueBet Partners With Caesars Entertainment For Indiana Market Access

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
BlueBet is the naming sponsor for the Penrith Panthers' home stadium
  • Australian bookmaker BlueBet has secured market access in Indiana in partnership with Caesars Entertainment.
  • BlueBet will operate in the US under the B2C brand name ‘ClutchBet’. They now have market access in Louisiana, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa.
  • BlueBet has opened a US office in Denver and will launch their platform in Iowa within the next few weeks.

Australian bookmaker BlueBet has secured market access in Indiana via a partnership with Caesars Entertainment. More specifically, the company will partner with Caesars owned Horseshoe Hammond to gain entree into the Hoosier State market. BlueBet now has market access in four US states and I bet you can guess what they are: Colorado, Indiana, Iowa and Louisiana. They’ve also made a smart move by opening an office in the Denver area–probably the only place in North America other than Toronto where I’d consider setting up shop.

Here’s the press release announcing the Indiana market access:

BlueBet is planning to launch a new B2C sportsbook brand in the US called ‘ClutchBet’. They announced the ClutchBet brand at the same time they announced market access in Louisiana in early May. Here’s the press release announcing the ClutchBet launch (how about some HTML press release links?):

Here’s what BlueBet CEO Bill Richmond had to say about the new brand and the US market:

“We’re proud to provide a bespoke, mobile-first American wagering brand that will resonate strongly with the US customer. Our vision for ClutchBet is to be a differentiated player providing a unique and memorable betting experience. We believe the US sports betting audience is unique, but raw, and we want ClutchBet to grow with the market to connect with American bettors. ClutchBet will draw upon our sportsbook expertise and technological know-how to provide a best-in-class user experience.”

BlueBet is also planning to launch a ‘B2B white labeled ‘sportsbook as a solution’ offering as a secondary phase of entering the US market. According to the press release, they’re expected to launch in Iowa in the coming weeks. After that, they’re looking at Colorado and Louisiana in Q2 of fiscal year 2023 and Indiana in the second half of the 2023 fiscal year. Note that the BlueBet fiscal year is different from the calendar year–they’re currently in Q4 of the 2022 fiscal year which means Colorado and Louisiana could launch later this year with Indiana coming in early calendar year 2023.

The plan for BlueBet is to launch in these four states and then start working on developing their B2B, white label ‘sportsbook-as-a-solution’ product. Here’s some quotes from BlueBet CEO Bill Richmond from today’s press release on that very topic:

“BlueBet now has market access in four US states, which provides a strong platform to roll out our
B2C brand, ClutchBet, and demonstrate the capability of our technology and team to run
profitable sportsbooks in the US.”

“There is no shortage of opportunities for further B2C expansion in the US, but our focus and
capital are pointed firmly towards executing in our initial four states as we seek partners for our
Sportsbook-as-a-Solution B2B offer.”

“The size of the opportunity in the US continues to grow with Americans having bet $125 Billion
on sports in the four years since legalisation. With many more states still to come online we could
not be more convinced that our differentiated B2B offer is the best approach to access this
opportunity in a disciplined and purposeful manner.”

The experience of BlueBet underscores everything wrong about the US sports betting regulatory environment. They’re a successful and experienced company that should be welcome in any jurisdiction in the world. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions the regulatory framework in the US states is designed specifically to a) protect the status quo b) protect ‘legacy’ gaming businesses, no matter how incompetent and c) enrich political cronies and financial benefactors. Creating an environment that fosters innovation, competition and economic development is not in the cards in most states.

Even the states that have done what is on balance a good job have some type of ‘tethering’ requirement whereby sportsbooks are required to ‘partner’ with retail gaming outfits for ‘market access’–meaning that 15% to 20% of revenues go out the window with little to show for it. This is akin to making Starbucks ‘partner’ with Waffle House or Dunkin’ Donuts when they enter a new market. Big surprise that the United States is down to #25 in the World Index of Economic Freedom and dropping like a stone year after year.

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