The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved on Thursday a gaming license for London-based Entain, MGM Resorts International’s 50-50 partner in its BetMGM sports wagering brand.
The licensing included suitability and key employee licensure of several executives, including Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen, who appeared before commissioners and will become a member of BetMGM’s board, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Commissioners questioned executives about being fined $20.4 million in August by the UKGC for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures. However, the measures carried out by the company to correct its compliance procedures satisfied the commissioners.
Entain was once an acquisition target of MGM, but the company confirmed this month that buying its joint venture partner is no longer on its radar. In January 2021, MGM offered $11 billion to buy Entain, but the offer was rejected. Analysts expected a bidding war to ensue, but in MGM’s fourth-quarter earnings call earlier this month, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the door has closed on any deal.
“The simple answer on Entain is no, we’ve moved on. While we remain highly focused on BetMGM’s business through our partnership with Entain and making sure that that business continues to grow,” he said, as reported by Review-Journal.
MGM will now seek other options through its $607 million acquisition of Swedish online gaming company LeoVegas. As for Entain, securing a license in the US’ biggest betting and gaming states marks a major step in its country rollout.
Thursday’s meeting was the first for newly appointed Northern Nevada Gaming Commissioner Brian Krolicki, who has replaced Ben Kieckhefer. The latter was named Gov. Joe Lombardo’s chief of staff.