They may historically have been seen as different businesses, but there’s a strong likelihood that consumers interested in sports betting will be potential casino patrons too – and it’s one that U.S. casino firms are exploiting in the ceasless search for new places to connect with players.
For example, Pinnacle Entertainment is to pay $22.8m for a 75.5 percent share of Retama Partners, which owns the licence for Retama Park Racetrack near San Antonio, Texas.
Said Pinnacle president and CEO Anthony Sanfilippo: “We believe Retama Park provides significant strategic value, given the potential approval of gaming entertainment centres at Texas parimutuel facilities and by expanding the reach of Pinnacle’s operations in the region into two key Texas markets, San Antonio and Austin.” The firm already has a racetrack in Ohio as well as its six casinos in Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri.
Hard Rock International, for its part, is committing to an even bigger investment of $275m in building a gaming and entertainment venue at Northfield Park racetrack in northeast Ohio, though the deal is subject to a successful resolution of legal wrangles over the use of video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the state.
The racetrack operation would join 15 Hard Rock hotel/casino properties that include the two Seminole Hard Rock flagships in Florida as well as others in Las Vegas, Chicago, San Diego, Mississippi, Macau, Pattaya, Bali, Penang, Singapore, and the Dominican Republic.
In Las Vegas, meanwhile, Cantor Gaming is going in the other direction.
Best known for running sportsbooks – its most recent opened at The Venetian – and for its mobile wagering systems, it’s now also operating an eight-table poker room within the sportsbook at The Palms.
“Our decision to relocate the poker room to the new race- and sportsbook was a natural one given the synergies that exist between poker players and sports betters,” said Palms president Joseph Magliarditi.
“There is a natural overlap between sports betters and poker players,” agreed Lee Amaitis, Cantor’s president and CEO.
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