BetMGM Getting Into Gift Card Game

By | September 7, 2021

BetMGM announced today that it’s making gift cards available in select states where the gaming operator is live and legal.

BetMGM Gift Cards
Bettors at the BetMGM sportsbook in Park MGM Las Vegas. The operator is making gift cards available. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The iGaming and online sportsbook company is partnering with New York-based payments provider TAPPP to offer gift cards. The news arrives just two days before the start of the 2021 NFL season.

BetMGM gift cards are now available in $25 and $50 denominations in eight states at over 6,000 locations across the,” according to a statement released by the gaming company.

Available at retailers such as Dollar General, Kum & Go, Sheetz and Speedway, the BetMGM gift cards feature a $10 bonus. While the gift card program is currently limited to eight states, BetMGM offers mobile sports wagering in a dozen states and Washington, DC. That figure includes Arizona, where sports betting is slated to go live this week.

Sports Betting, Gift Cards Ideal Pairing?

For BetMGM, the gift card gambit could be well-timed on multiple fronts. First, as noted above, the 2021 NFL campaign commences on Thursday.

Second, the holiday shopping season will soon arrive. In any given year, nearly 75 percent of shoppers buy at least one gift card in the fourth quarter and a majority purchase at least two. With more states recently entering the live and legal sports betting fray, the potential audience for BetMGM gift cards is growing at the optimal time of year.

The operator isn’t the first to get into the gift card racket. Just before last Christmas, DraftKings and InComm Payments formed a gift card deal, covering some of the same retailer as the BetMGM/TAPPP pact, including Dollar General, Sheetz and Speedway.

The DraftKings gift cards can be used to fund accounts at the operator’s internet casinos. BetMGM didn’t say if its comparable offering is eligible for use at its online casinos. In the states where it’s operational, BetMGM holds dominant iGaming market share.

For BetMGM, Big Gift Card Opportunity

In the intensely competitive sports betting space, customer retention is paramount for operators and one avenue for that is making opening and funding accounts easier. Gift cards could be an avenue for accomplishing that objective.

Indeed, gift cards are big business, particularly online cards. Sales of gift cards at brick-and-mortar are rising at a six percent clip per year. But that’s dwarfed by the rapid acceleration in the online market. In the third quarter, retailers sold 114 percent more digital cards than in the year-earlier period, while revenue generated increased 65 percent, according to Rise.ai Inc.

BetMGM, a partnership between MGM Resorts International and Entain, doesn’t mention e-gift careds in its statement. The comparable DraftKings offering is only available at physical retail stores.

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