What’s this?

This is Bill Hornbuckle CEO of MGM Resorts kicking off day two of SBC’s Betting on Sports America – Digital event on Wednesday this week.

Who’s speaking?

Hornbuckle is talking with ESPN staff writer David Purdum.

What’s being said?

The chat covers significant industry ground tackling issues including the relationship between US professional sports leagues and stakeholders, and the prospects for in-play betting state-side.

Addressing the post-PASPA turnaround in attitude of the leagues towards sports betting, Hornbuckle expressed the view that while they have significant involvement through partnerships with stakeholders, they are unlikely to seek a direct stake in the business. 

“I don’t believe it would be good for the sport or the industry because obviously it’s still a competition and you do not ever want to intertwine those two. I would be hard pressed to believe they would want to cross over that line. I just think it gets a bit difficult for the commissioners and for the teams to then regulate what does and doesn’t happen.”

Pressed by Purdum on prospects for mobile sports betting, Hornbuckle responded: “This is the age-old argument of what do you think about native American casinos. What do you think about riverboats? And I think it’s all great. I think it’s proven itself – it’s lifted the bar. I think particularly when Las Vegas was booming, a healthy new competitor next door that drove visitation to the market place was and is a good thing. I feel the same about this (mobile).”

On convergence between media and operating companies, Hornbuckle said: “For the media companies it’s being able to participate in the space without having to do it – if you will – basically as a large scale affiliate for lack of a better definition. So there’s pure economics, there’s exposure, there’s engagement most notably. 

“That’s what they want – they want eyeballs, they want engagement. They want to keep you on your device longer.

Why should I watch it?

It’s great insight and as good a round-up of the opportunities and challenges for the growth of sports betting in the US as you are likely to find anywhere.

Source: SBC YouTube Channel

Betting USA: MGM’s Hornbuckle talks leagues, mobile and in-play