GAN All-In On California Sports Betting Proposals

Written By JR Duren on May 25, 2022 - Last Updated on August 2, 2022
GAN is situated to prosper if either CA gambling initiative passes

The CEO of software supplier GAN sees the competing California ballot proposals as a win-win for his company.

One would limit California sports betting to tribal casinos. The other would allow non-tribal operators to offer mobile sports wagering. GAN is situated to prosper if either gambling initiative passes, CEO Dermot Smurfit says.

In a recent earnings call, analysts asked Smurfit about the company’s plans and performance. The CEO said he’s hopeful for expanded gambling in California.

Gan is situated to prosper if either CA gambling initiative passes

Two sports betting initiatives will go before California voters in November. Smurfit said no matter which proposal passes, he thinks GAN will come out a winner.

One initiative would allow non-tribal (“commercial”) operators to offer mobile sports wagering. FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook are backing that initiative.

The second proposal allows sports betting only via in-person wagering at tribal casinos. It’s the one GAN prefers. Smurfit says:

“As a general statement, I think if either [wins] we will still have a hand to play in the poker game of California sports betting. We’re particularly positive on the tribal initiatives. We lean in favor of the Native American initiative on the basis of those fully developed long-term relationships that we have and enjoy right here in California.”

The second proposal would seem best for GAN. Several operators in the state means multiple chances for partnerships. Smurfit, though, is more confident in his company’s relationship with tribes. He believes a tribal-only sports betting deal would be the best fit for GAN.

GAN’s strengths are technology and experience

GAN’s strength might also lie in its experience turning simulated gaming markets into real-money gambling markets. Smurfit sees California as a state where they can apply their blueprint.

Not much has changed with his positive outlook for the Golden State. In the company’s Q4 2021 call, Smirfit was bullish on GAN’s chances in California.

“Certainly look at California as a major opportunity for GAN, GAN technology and what I call the complete enterprise solution—B2B to power the tribes as they move online.”

David Katz, an analyst at equity firm Jefferies, told SeekingAlpha he believes “there is a value upside in B2B for GAN, particularly in the California legalization where GAN is seen being a meaningful participant if the votes break the right way.”

How would GAN’s gambling software fit in California?

The answer is, quite well, according to Smurfit. Basically, GAN offers software-as-a-service platforms for casino gaming. Their premier platform, GameSTACK, provides the back-end tech and tools to help casinos run an efficient online gaming platform. They include:

  • Account activation
  • Payment services
  • Geolocation
  • Marketing
  • Loyalty program management

Also, GAN’s platform allows casino operators to integrate sports betting into their mobile apps. That’s the main issue at stake on the upcoming ballot.

GAN could also tip their hand a little more as the November elections approach. Consequently, keep an eye out for the company’s Q2 earnings call this summer.

Photo by Shutterstock
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JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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