Wynn Resorts, a leading Las Vegas-based gambling and hospitality operator, has made a significant decision to curtail its online sports betting operations. The company’s WynnBET platform will cease operations in eight states, it confirmed in a company press release late last week.
Wynn Resorts has confirmed that its WynnBET sports wagering unit will halt operations in eight states, including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The company only relaunched an upgraded WynnBET app in six markets earlier in August, including several of those states where it is now set to close.
“In light of the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting, we believe there are higher and better uses of capital deployment for Wynn Resorts shareholders,” said Chief Financial Officer of Wynn Resorts Julie Cameron-Doe.
The inability to gain significant traction in states like Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, and especially New Jersey, which boasts one of the largest sports betting markets in the U.S., has been a setback.
The U.S sportsbook market is a competive one, with operators PlayUP Sports, FOX Bet, and Barstool Sportsbook all shutting shops this year.
However, WynnBET isn’t entirely retracting its presence. The company will continue to focus on states where Wynn Resorts operates brick-and-mortar casinos, specifically Massachusetts and Nevada. Additionally, the company’s sports betting operations in New York and Michigan are currently under review.
“While we believe in the long-term prospects of iGaming, the dearth of iGaming legislation and the presence of numerous other investment opportunities available to us around the globe have led us to the decision to curtail our capital investment in WynnBET to focus primarily on those states where we maintain a physical presence,” Cameron-Doe said.
WynnBET’s journey has been marked by several significant events.
In May 2021, Wynn Resorts announced plans to merge Wynn Interactive with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by Bill Foley, owner of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. This merger would have valued the business at $3.2 billion. However, by November of the same year, the deal was off the table.
Beyond the realm of sports betting, Wynn Resorts has had a good year. It’s flagship Wynn Las Vegas has won awards as Las Vegas’ best resort hotel, and recently posted strong earnings for its major U.S properties., such as Encore Boston Harbor.
In the future, Wynn is among a dozen or so national and global casino operators vying for one of three new downstate New York casino licenses. It plans a 250,000-square-foot gaming venue and 1,700 room hotel tower in the Hudson Yards neigborhoood of New York City.
Other competitors include Caesars Entertainment and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, Las Vegas Sands and billionaire real estate mogul Larry Silverstein.
Wynn is also very close to finalizing its Wynn Al Marjan Island project in the United Arab Emirates. If approved, this would mark the first regulated casino in the Arab world.