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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 recently 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 “omnichannel 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 Hard Rock International offered these comments about the dedicated new direction for the company:
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.
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.
Goldstein, Executive Managing Director and CEO for Hard Rock Digital was excited to join the team and 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, omnichannel offering.
Hard Rock has enjoyed a smooth and successful path adding new US states to their online gaming roster, which will undoubtedly continue.
The company has successfully benefitted from its partnership with GiG (Gaming Innovation Group), European-based gaming and sports betting technology provider. Their deal includes the option for further expansion collaboration providing additional US states as legalization continues in 2021.
Results have been explosive in several US states with online gaming dominant. New Jersey announced almost $1 billion dollars handled in December with an incredible 93.2% figure wagered online. Obviously due to the unique COVID-19 circumstances projected to continue deep into 2021.
A new page for Hard Rock Digital hardrockdigital.com has further information with a list of available jobs aligned with the project and expanded plans for 2021. 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 ambitious and confident new venture for 2021, a rollout for several 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 large key state that does not have legalized sports wagering, but with HRI seeking a jump start to become a market leader.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida purchased Hard Rock in 2007 which now has venues in more than 76The Seminole Tribe of Florida purchased Hard Rock in 2007 which now has venues in more than 76 countries around the world. countries around the world.
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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