Elon Musk’s X Reportedly Partnering with BetMGM
Elon Musk’s X — the social media platform formerly known as Twitter — is reportedly in discussions with BetMGM to integrate sports betting into widely used site.
Fortune broke the news earlier Friday, noting financial terms of the agreement haven’t been revealed. It’s expected that a potential BetMGM/X relationship would include the social media site featuring BetMGM odds and direct links to the operator’s online sportsbook.
BetMGM, which turns six years old in July, is a 50/50 joint venture between MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and UK-based Entain Plc (OTC: GMVHF). It’s the third-largest online sportsbook operator in the US behind FanDuel and DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG).
BetMGM is the exclusive sports betting partner to MGM Resorts nationwide, both online and in MGM’s physical casinos. BetMGM is also a leader in online casino gaming and poker, along with sister brands Borgata Online, Party Casino and Party Poker,” according to the New Jersey-based gaming company.
BetMGM has internet and retail sportsbooks in 13 states and Washington, DC.
Pivotal Timing for X, BetMGM Deal
News of the potential BetMGM/X partnership emerged about two weeks before the Super Bowl. That’s pertinent because live events have become a staple of X’s avenues for user engagement and there’s arguably nothing quite like the NFL to get social media users talking, at least when it comes to sports.
Should the partnership come to fruition, it likely won’t be a major revenue driver for privately held X, but it would be a contributor and potentially signal to other mainstream, consumer-facing companies that it’s alright to advertise on the social media platform.
It’s estimated that X posted just $2.5 billion in sales last year, a more than 50% decline from 2021 — its last year as a public company. That drop is the result of some left-leaning companies pulling advertisements – long X’s primary source of revenue — from the platform due to political disagreements with Musk. That’s interesting because the Tesla founder said he voted “overwhelmingly for Democrats” prior to 2022. He’s now a registered independent and views himself as “politically moderate.”
The possible agreement with BetMGM jibes with Musk’s plans to diversify X’s revenue streams. To date, those efforts have included subscriptions and licensing deals with charging a monthly fee for the famed blue checkmark among them.
Interesting Timing for BetMGM, Too
It remains to be seen just how much of a needle-mover X could be for BetMGM, but there’s clear potential and synergies between social media and sports betting, indicating there could be promise in this relationship.
To that end, news of a deal between the gaming company and X emerged just weeks after former Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen was forced out and as activist investors circle that company.
It’s widely rumored that some, if not all, of those activists could push Entain to sell its stake in BetMGM to MGM — a transaction that would almost assuredly be to the delight of the casino operator.