Hard Rock International Announces New Venture to Expand Sportsbook & Online Wagering

Hard Rock International

  • HRI will launch a new company division focused upon expanding online & sports wagering
  • Veteran gaming officials named by Hard Rock to lead the important project forward
  • The new venture will encompass all Hard Rock US state properties plus more upcoming

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In an effort to lift focus upon both sports betting and internet gaming on both a national and international scale, Hard Rock International has announced Hard Rock Digital.

Hard Rock Digital will be the exclusive Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming (SGA) “vehicle for interactive gaming and sports betting, globally”. The new platform will leverage HRI and SGA’s database of more than 130 million customers and 250 land-based venues across 76 countries.

In creating the new venture, it will eventually provide an “omni-channel offering for interactive gaming and sports betting,” leveraging the databases of Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming.

The project will be capitalized by HRI, SGA, and its partners, who will provide full financial support and backing.

Jim Allen, chairman of HRI offered these comments:

With the launch of Hard Rock Digital, we are broadening our digital business which enhances consumer experiences and offerings across our interactive gaming and sportsbook offerings. Hard Rock Digital also intends to pursue strategic branding and distribution opportunities both within the US and globally. In the US alone, the potential future market size is estimated at $7 billion for sports betting and $14 billion for online gaming.

Market size projections Allen was referencing were obtained from Morgan Stanley for 2025.

New Project Leaders

Hard Rock Digital will be managed by gaming industry leaders Rafi Ashkenazi, Executive Managing Director and Executive Chair, Marlon Goldstein, Executive Managing Director and CEO, and Matt Primeaux, Executive Managing Director and President.

Ashkenazi is the former CEO of The Stars Group. He will officially join Hard Rock Digital in 2021 following a garden leave period. Goldstein served as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer of The Stars Group from 2014 until July, while Primeaux was President of FOX Bet for 15 months. A period from May 2019 to July 2020 as part of a joint venture with The Stars Group.

Marlon Goldstein, Executive Managing Director and CEO for Hard Rock Digital said:

We are honored to join forces with Hard Rock International on this new venture. Hard Rock International is consistently at the forefront of innovation and vision in the gaming industry and the ‘Hard Rock’ gaming, hospitality and entertainment venues are iconic worldwide. We look forward to providing an authentic, digital experience for Hard Rock’s global fan base within a comprehensive, omni-channel offering.

New Job Opportunities

A new page for Hard Rock Digital hardrockdigital.com has information with a list of available jobs aligned with the project. HRI operates casinos in nine states, including five within states that have legal sports betting. That number will soon expand to six once Hard Rock completes construction on a casino in Rockford, Illinois.

In keeping with the goals of the venture, a rollout for other US state locations seems eminent. No details have been confirmed, but perhaps this strategic action may also be a catalyst in helping Florida become more in focus. A key state that does not have legalized sports wagering, with HRI seeking a jump start to become a market leader.

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Larry Gibbs

Expert on Sports Betting Industry

Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.

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