After working together to break records this year, Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) (STO: GIGSEK) and Hard Rock International (HRI) have agreed to a “mutual termination” of their platform and sportsbook services arrangement.
Both parties were in agreement that while the relationship was a “fruitful” one, culminating in an upswing in results during 2020, they were unable to come to terms for a commercial agreement that would support the other’s strategic aims.
Accordingly, GiG will be immediately released from an exclusivity clause in the contract with Hard Rock, allowing for the Malta-headquartered B2B company to pursue new business prospects in the U.S.
In a statement in a company press release, Chief Executive Officer for Gaming Innovation Group, Richard Brown, commented on the parting of ways…
“Through the partnership with HRI the GIG organisation has been able to build and customise a very strong omnichannel product which has helped HRI online to break records during 2020. I am extremely proud of what our company has delivered in the past two and a half years we have been active in the US. We have a high quality, innovative omnichannel solution that we have built out of work with HRI and a very competitive casino offering that can be tailored to the US market which we believe can lead to future success as more states begin to regulate online.
“GiG is in a strong position to pursue further business opportunities in a fast-evolving US landscape, which we now look to intensify, having a fully compliant and quality solution operational in two US states, easily configurable to additional states. However, the global gambling market is an exciting one and we believe there are considerable areas of growth globally. GiG will support Hard Rock fully as they migrate to their new supplier and we wish them well in their future endeavours,” said Brown.
According to the press release, the migration of online operations to a new provider is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2021, while retail sports betting will be moved prior to the end of 2020.
Senior Vice President Online Gaming and Sports Betting for Hard Rock International, Kresimir Spajic, stated…
“We are thankful to GiG for helping us take our first steps in the regulated US online gaming and sports betting market. Together we have achieved notable results and launched significant innovations including the World’s First Live Slots. We wish GiG all the best in their future ventures.”
GiG noted that the Hard Rock agreement represented less than 2 percent of its revenue in the last 12 months, as well as a marginal negative contribution on its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
The iGaming company also added that the termination of the agreement will not impact its guidance for the remainder of 2020.
HRI and GiG history:
Soon after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was repealed by the US Supreme Court in May 2018, GiG was authorized by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to provide a real-money online casino platform solution to operators in the northeastern U.S. state.
That same year, GiG signed a Letter of Intent with Hard Rock for the provision of an omni-channel sportsbook platform in the newly opened New Jersey, US market at its Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
In late January 2019, the New Jersey sportsbook went live with Hard Rock, with players and residents of the Garden State and visitors able to wager online at HardRockSports.com and HardRockCasino.com or in-person at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Then in December last year, GiG and Hard Rock launched a mobile sportsbook in Iowa to complement an over-the-counter solution at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City which launched in September 2019.