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Why is Wynn Bailing on Sports Betting?

Last Updated: January 25, 2022
After signing on big-name ambassadors like Shaq to promote its WynnBet platform, Wynn Resorts now reportedly wants out of the industry.

Wynn Resorts, one of the biggest names in casino gaming, wants out of the sports betting game.

In news first reported by the New York Post, the resort and entertainment giant is preparing for an about-face, putting its Wynn Interactive division up for sale for a sticker price of $500 million.

This all follows a series of moves in 2021 that suggested Wynn was utterly committed to going all-in on sports betting through its WynnBet offering as the industry took off in an increasing number of states, including:

  • May 2021: Sponsoring the Wynn Field Club at the Las Vegas Raiders‘ Allegiant Stadium as part of a deal to become the team’s official nightlife partner
  • May 2021: Announced plans to take Wynn Interactive public in a SPAC deal involving William P. Foley, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights ; the new entity was expected to be worth over $3 billion
  • Aug. 2021: Recruiting Shaquille O’Neal as a WynnBet ambassador (which required the Diesel to sell his minority stake in the Sacramento Kings due to NBA rules)

As platforms like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars pick up even more steam following this month’s highly lucrative mobile sports betting rollout in the state of New York, the timing of Wynn’s consequential decision isn’t completely unforeseen. In November, the company announced that the Wynn Interactive SPAC deal was being terminated — a company spokesperson stating that the decision was made “in light of elevated marketing and promotional spend in the sports betting industry.”

The latest news comes during a down period for the stock market in general. But notably, Wynn’s stock ($WYNN) is:

  • Down 4.34% so far in 2022
  • Down 19.58% in the past six months
  • Down 22.22% in the past year
Stock price for Wynn Resorts Ltd. ($WYNN) over the past year

From making plans to go public with a new entity worth billions to suddenly asking for $500 million for its sports betting operation in the span of just a few months, life has come at Wynn fast. To be clear, it’s never just one individual factor that contributes to a moment like this, but it’s worth noting just how much sportsbooks like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel are spending on a wall-to-wall advertising push across multiple mediums with an assist from stars like Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry, and Martin Lawrence.

It’s no surprise that not every sports betting entity would be able to keep up with such aggressive spending knowing that the ultimate payoff won’t come right away, but further down the line.

After surveying the landscape across the holiday season and the first few weeks of 2022, Wynn clearly felt that the best decision was staying focused on hospitality and casino gaming, the two things that put the brand on the map in the first place.

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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.