Kindred Group Connects With Hard Rock Atlantic City For NJ Sports Betting

Written By Bart Shirley on August 17, 2018

Many European gaming companies are wanting to get a piece of the exploding US sports betting market. In that vein, Kindred Group has just partnered with the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

Kindred, formerly known as Unibet Group, has applied to the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement for a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License. Due to its core business, Kindred Group is likely seeking to run online sports betting and online gaming through Hard Rock’s license. The deal has a 10-year time horizon.

Manual Stan, senior vice president at Kindred US said in the press release:

“This is a very exciting moment for Kindred as we have been working hard to take this first important step into what will most likely become the largest betting market in the world. I’m also delighted that we have been able to team up with a true lifestyle and entertainment brand and I am confident that Kindred and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will give New Jersey customers an absolutely great sports betting and gaming experience.”

Kindred Group and Hard Rock are certainly not exclusive to each other

Kindred’s deal with Hard Rock Atlantic City is another NJ sports betting connection between gaming companies. Those relationships are becoming more common as the gaming industry scrambles for market share.

For Kindred, the company also works closely with Kambi, a leading online sportsbook provider. In turn, Kambi is part of the reason that DraftKings has a functioning online sportsbook right now. Kambi used to be a part of Kindred Group.

Hard Rock, for its part, has an existing relationship with gaming giant bet365. So, it remains unclear exactly how these three will fit together.

The situation is complicated further by the fact that Hard Rock is one of three Atlantic City casinos without a physical sportsbook.

Hard Rock made its own online casino news this week

Whether the deal with Kindred portends the debut of an on-site sportsbook at Hard Rock is speculation. However, if the DGE approves the company’s CSIE application, Kindred could have the green light to open a full NJ online casino.

Incidentally, Hard Rock had its own online casino announcement on Thursday when it joined the growing and ever-popular live dealer market. The new property debuted the second live dealer studio in New Jersey.

This live dealer functionality is the result of another Hard Rock partnership. On Aug. 9, the company announced its live dealer partner would be Evolution Gaming.

However, Kindred’s entry into the US market is likely a bigger deal because of the company’s size. The company earns £750 million in annual revenues. As industry analyst Alun Bowden told Legal Sports Report,

“They tend to be overlooked, but they are a hugely successful business that has been one of the true pioneers entertainment-led betting in Europe and have always focused on user experience first and foremost. They’re a modern technology led operator with a strong mobile product and it will be really interesting to see how they approach the market.”

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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