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Caesars Entertainment will launch its online casino in the Great Lakes State after acquiring WynnBet’s Michigan iGaming operations for an undisclosed sum.

The operator also announced a long-term extension of the iGaming market-access agreement with Michigan’s Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, will see Caesars obtain the tribe’s iGaming skins, allowing it to launch multiple brands.

Michigan is one of the largest online casino markets in the US, reporting a record $181.9m revenue for operators in January 2024.

WynnBet’s existing iGaming customers will now be directed to Caesars’ Michigan iGaming platform.

Wynn Resorts’ platform previously exited eight US markets in August 2023, to focus on markets where it held a land-based presence.

At the time, the company said its Michigan and New York operations were “under review”. Last week WynnBet announced it was selling its New York market access to Penn Entertainment for $25m.

Following WynnBet’s Massachusetts withdrawal in January, Nevada will remain as the brand’s only active market.

“As we continue to grow our iGaming franchise, the assumption of WynnBet’s iGaming operations in Michigan allows us to tap into a significant market and customer base, providing a crucial step forward in growing our digital products and offering players more ways to play,” said Caesars SVP and chief iGaming officer Matt Sunderland.

Sault Tribe chairman Austin Lowes added: “It was paramount that our next partner in iGaming possessed both expertise in the US iGaming market and a history of strong partnerships in Indian country.”

Caesars Q4 digital growth drives narrowed net loss

Caesars’ Q4 2023 revenue was stable compared to the same period in the previous year. The company saw a 0.1% increase to $2.83bn.

This was driven by a decline in the firm’s Las Vegas operations, offset by growth in the digital segment.

The Caesars Palace operator reported a 5.5% decline in Las Vegas revenue to $1.09bn. The reduction largely resulted from its October 2023 divestiture of its Belle of Baton Rouge and Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino properties.

Meanwhile, Caesars saw its digital revenue grow from $237m to $304m. The company has traditionally been considered the fourth largest US online gaming operator.

However, new competition from ESPN Bet, Fanatics Sportsbook and bet365 could mean a reduced market share for the company in the year ahead.

“Our fourth quarter operating results demonstrated consolidated net revenue growth, reduced net loss and stable consolidated adjusted EBITDA year-over-year,” said Caesars CEO Tom Reeg.

“Results were driven by a 28% year-over-year increase in Caesars Digital net revenue that generated a 10% Adjusted EBITDA margin in the quarter.

“Full-year results benefited from a 78% increase in Caesars Digital net revenues to approximately $1.0bn, and an over $700m improvement in this segment’s adjusted EBITDA.”

The company’s Q4 net loss was reduced to $72m from $148m in 2022. Accounting for this decline was a fall in corporate costs, better regional operational results and a narrowed digital net loss. This follows a preview of the company’s Q4 result from last month.

On a full-year basis, Caesars reported revenue of $11.53bn, up 1.3% from the previous year. Online supported nearly all of that growth, shooting up to $973m from $548m the previous year.

The business also saw its overall net debt fall 5.1% to $11.43bn. Deleveraging its debt obligations has been an important theme for Caesars in recent years.

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