Michigan residents currently await the next round of sports betting talks in the legislature. While it is “wait and see” at the state level, Dan Gilbert, one of Michigan’s own, is ready to take advantage of an increased interest in the gaming space thanks to sports betting.
Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are representing Gilbert’s casino company, Jack Entertainment, as he seeks a buyer for his stake. The company owns and operates casinos and racetracks in:
It is worth noting that being an owner of a professional sports league and a sportsbook can prove problematic. Case in point, Tilman Fertitta, owner of Golden Nugget Atlantic City and the Houston Rockets, cannot accept sports wagers in New Jersey on any NBA games.
Gilbert would likely face some similar restrictions in Michigan and other states as sports betting legislation emerges.
Gilbert no stranger to maximizing opportunity
It is understandable that sports betting is front and center as the NFL regular season gets underway. There are high expectations for the nascent industry to generate significant revenue, hence the constant headlines and partnerships dominating conversations.
Gilbert recognizes that an active sports betting market might be his best chance to sell his casinos. So far, all the states with legalized sports betting have a requirement for a sportsbook to be associated with a licensed casino. That trend will likely continue as more states come online.
There is no doubt the gambling market is highly competitive. Many of Gilbert’s casinos are not leading the market in their areas.
To illustrate, Gilbert owns Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit. The casino significantly trails its two other competitors in terms of revenue and only holds a 23 percent market share.
With sports betting potentially on the horizon, his company may garner a higher valuation.
Speculation on a potential casino buyer
Jack Entertainment has not announced any interested buyers. Caesars Entertainment has to be at the top of a speculative list.
To start, Caesars expressed an interest in Gilbert’s casinos in the past. Furthermore, Caesars and Gilbert were partners in two Ohio properties, one in Cleveland and one in Cincinnati. The casinos operated under the Horseshoe name until three years ago when Gilbert purchased Caesars’ share of the business.
Regardless of whether Caesars is interested or not, it most likely won’t take long for an interested party to come forward.
Michigan State Rep. Brandt Iden promised to re-introduce sports betting when the legislature returns from summer break. If the state gets a sports betting bill on the books, Gilbert’s company becomes even more attractive holding one of only three Michigan commercial casinos.