Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has reached an agreement with its partner, Hard Rock International (Hard Rock), to support its market entry with sports betting in the US state of Iowa. The sportsbook will initially launch with an over-the-counter solution on the casino floor at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City in Iowa. This will be followed by the launch of online and mobile sports betting in Iowa, expected in Q4 2019.
In Iowa, Hard Rock will offer a similar seamless and engaging betting experience for its consumers as it has already delivered in New Jersey, with an omni-channel sportsbook solution based on GiG’s modern and flexible technology.
For GiG, this means the Company will be able to leverage its platform in the US adding more scale to its network and revenues to the business. GiG already has the groundwork done in New Jersey after a successful proof of concept suitable and relevant to the American audience.
Iowa is one of the 12 states in the US legalising sports wagering since the US Supreme Court overturned the federal sports wagering ban in 2018. In August this year, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) authorised the 19 casinos in the state to offer statewide retail, online and mobile sports betting to consumers aged 21 or over. Iowa has approximately 3.2 million inhabitants and should also benefit with visitors from neighboring states such as Nebraska and Minnesota. It has an estimated mature sports betting market valued at revenues of around $160 million based on the total amount of money wagered by consumers. The tax rate on the sports betting revenue is 7.5%.
In connection to this agreement, GiG has also renegotiated terms for its existing casino and sportsbook contract with Hard Rock in respect to New Jersey.
GiG expects this agreement to have limited impact on its revenues in 2019, with an increasing contribution from the launch of online and mobile betting in 2020 onwards.
Kresimir Spajic, Senior Vice President of Online Gaming at Hard Rock International says, “We’re excited to extend our partnership with GiG to support sports betting in Iowa, and further grow our sportsbook portfolio.”
“Offering sports betting through GiG provides our players and guests a new level of engagement – we couldn’t be more thrilled to launch today,” Jim Franke, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City.
Richard Brown, acting Chief Executive Officer of GiG says, “After a successful launch in New Jersey, I am delighted to further deepen the relationship with Hard Rock, delivering on our strategy to grow with our partner by entering a new state in the US with our sportsbook. The agreement is both a testament to our know-how and prowess to lead a land-based casino into the digital world of betting, and a strong validation of GiG’s commercial and product delivery capabilities. We are looking forward to growing with our partner long term. We have mutual ambitions to entertain consumers with a safe and exciting first-class sports betting experience.”