The legendary hospitality brand Hard Rock has revealed its plans to enter the sportsbook market and has already launched its online platform in Arizona.
The firm has joined forces with the Navajo Nation tribe to facilitate their entry into the market, and the Hard Rock sportsbook will become part of the NNGE (Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise) network that already features five hospitality venues across AZ and New Mexico.
The Hard Rock sportsbook app is available now for Apple and Android devices, with new players able to access three risk-free bets worth up to $100 when they sign up. The app also features daily odds boosts and other features that have become the norm in Arizona sports betting.
$577 million dollars will now be directly allocated to the Navajo people. Expect $2,000 in assistance will be coming to you, the Navajo people. And $600 for minors under 18 years old. The Navajo Nation Council is honored to lead the way for the People, again.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the NNGE to provide Arizona sports bettors with a fun and engaging gameday experience through the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app,” said the company’s managing director Marlon Goldstein.
Meanwhile, the interim chief executive officer at the NNGE, Brian Parrish, commented: “Mobile sports and event wagering is an important new offering that we’re excited to introduce. The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile sports wagering platform, and our brick and mortar operations, will offer a broad range of wagers, marketing promotions, and cross-marketing offers.”
Hard Times for Hard Rock?
You have to admire the determination of a brand that is willing to try and enter a market that is already extremely competitive. Despite only being launched in September 2021, sportsbooks in Arizona took more than $1.2 billion in bets in the first three months after legalization – marking the AZ market as one of the fastest-growing anywhere in the US. The first month’s revenue of $291 million was the best debut for any state in the legal wagering era, smashing the previous record of $131 million set by Tennessee in November 2020.
Despite TwinSpires exiting AZ already, a number of major sportsbooks are already active within Arizona state lines, highlighting the size of the task facing Hard Rock in breaking into an established market.
Leading the way since the launch of legal wagering in AZ has been DraftKings, who took $97 million in bets in that first month of trading to tie up 33% of the market in Arizona.
BetMGM and FanDuel were practically neck and neck in second place – the former earning $1 million more in online revenue ($58.9 million), with the latter picking up an extra $2 million from their retail sportsbook at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.
Caesars wrapped up fourth place with $42 million in revenue wagered via their online channels in AZ, with a further $800,000 bet at their ‘pop up’ sportsbook at Chase Field. Rounding out the top five was WynnBet, who still banked a not inconsiderable $17.4 million.
The message is clear: there is a huge appetite for legal sports wagering in Arizona. Hard Rock has been watching and has now made their entry, but will they be able to break up the dominance of DraftKings and co with their fledgling product?