Scientific Games will be Hard Rock's technology partner beginning in 2021
Online Poker Report

Hard Rock Switches To Scientific Games As Partner, While GIG Departs By Mutual Agreement

Hard Rock Sportsbook & Casino approaches a switch in partners

Hard Rock has named SG Digital as its new sportsbook and online casino platform provider after ending its relationship with Gaming Innovation Group (GIG).

SG Digital will deploy its sportsbook platform across digital and retail for Hard Rock in both Iowa and New Jersey

It will also provide the player account management platform in both states and its OpenGaming content aggregation for Hard Rock’s New Jersey online casino.

Hard Rock’s Senior VP for Online Betting and Gaming Kresimir Spajic said the move would take Hard Rock “to the next level,” with a focus on differentiation and innovation.

“SG Digital’s sports betting technology is second to none, while the launch of OpenGaming in New Jersey allows us to expand our already strong casino offering in the state,” Spajic said.

“These are exciting times for Hard Rock International as we bring even more entertaining experiences to our loyal customer base.”

Technology shift for Hard Rock

The announcement comes after Hard Rock and GIG announced the end of their US partnership earlier today.

The companies said the termination was mutual despite a “fruitful relationship” and an upswing in results through 2020.

In a statement, the two said their strategic aims “lay in separate paths.”

As a result, Hard Rock has released GIG from their contractual exclusivity clause. This will allow GIG to pursue other US business partners.

How did we get here?

Hard Rock launched with GIG for sportsbook and casino back in 2018 and is live in two states.

The brand has seemingly performed better in online casino despite only being live in NJ. It has an estimated 3% national market share, according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. 

Hard Rock said the online migration to SG would happen during Q1 2021. Retail sports will be moved during Q4 2020.

What does this mean for GIG?

GIG said the loss of the contract was not material for its 2020 earnings forecasts. 

Hard Rock represented less than 2% of GIG’s revenues in the last 12 months, with a marginal negative contribution on EBITDA.

GIG is in a strong position to pursue further business opportunities in a fast-evolving US landscape,” said CEO Richard Brown. “We now look to intensify that, having a fully compliant and quality solution operational in two US states.

Brown added: “However, the global gambling market is an exciting one, and we believe there are considerable areas of growth globally.”

Brad Allen
- Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.
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