(PRESS RELEASE) — Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has signed a contract with Hard Rock International for the provision of its omni-channel sportsbook solution in the newly opened U.S. market of New Jersey. Launch date is estimated for Q1 2019. This agreement follows a Letter of Intent signed between GiG and Hard Rock on 12 October 2018.
This is a milestone agreement for GiG who, after nearly two years of development of its recently launched sports betting platform, has won a highly sought-after tender in competition with world-leading sportsbook providers.
Hard Rock has chosen the full suite of GiG’s sports betting services including GiG Sports Connect, GiG Trader and GiG Goal. The offering is supplied as a full omni-channel solution with Over the Counter (OTC) wagering and Self Service Betting Terminals (SSBT) available in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Atlantic City as well as online via desktop and mobile. There is potential to expand the partnership further in the future in other US states.
The Supreme Court in the U.S. recently revoked the federal ban on U.S. sports betting opening up for state-by-state regulation. More than 20 states with a total addressable market of around half of the U.S. population are expected to open up by the end of 2023. The total middle market range is estimated at $6 billion split 50/50 offline and online, where online will be dominated by mobile (source H2GC).
The recent update of the National Football League’s policy on commercial gaming lifted the restriction on Hard Rock’s future sportsbook operation in Atlantic City. Operators of casinos and sport books can now be naming rights partners of NFL venues, subject to certain conditions. Hard Rock International became Miami Dolphins stadium naming partner in 2016 with an 18-year agreement.
Hard Rock is an existing partner of GiG. To date this year GiG has provided Hard Rock with its flexible, robust and scalable technical platform service and its best-in-class front end website service GiG Magic, supporting Hard Rock to go live with its casino offering in New Jersey, U.S. on 3 July 2018.
Kresimir Spajic, SVP Online Gaming at Hard Rock International, says, “The forthcoming launch of the Hard Rock Sportsbook in New Jersey will mark another step towards becoming a significant player in the national and international Sports Betting and Online Gaming industry. In the past few months GiG has proven to be an innovative, capable, flexible and trustworthy partner. Such qualities together with vanguard Sportsbook technology and services enabled GiG to win our New Jersey Sportsbook RFP. We are positive that the extension of our partnership with GiG together with “skin” partnerships with leading international operators will enable Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City to reach its ultimate goal of becoming New Jersey’s Sports Betting and Online Gaming market leader.”
Robin Reed, CEO of GiG, says, “I am proud and delighted to have signed this agreement with our partner Hard Rock, our first inroad to sports betting in the exciting U.S. market. It also headlines our continually strengthening partnership with Hard Rock across our iGaming ecosystem. It was a highly competitive pitch against the best Sportsbooks in the world, all vying to open up the US market. Hard Rock choosing GiG to power its Sportsbook, is a clear statement as to the quality of our cutting-edge sports betting services at this very early stage of their roll-out. Hard Rock is a strong brand with scale, wide reach and with the same high ambitions as us. We look forward, with excitement, to continuing to support Hard Rock’s expansion and geographical growth.”
GiG is expecting the sportsbook agreement to start contributing to revenues in Q1 2019 and to increase from Q2 2019 onwards.