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Broader strategy sees Boyd leverage new technology to diversify business

1st November 2013 9:40 am GMT

US casino operator Boyd Gaming said Thursday that while it sees “great potential” in the New Jersey online gaming market, the company continues to look to leverage new technology to diversify its business which includes the launch of a mobile sports betting app in Nevada as well as further expansion into the social gaming arena.

Having become the first Atlantic City casino operator to receive a New Jersey online gaming licence, Boyd said that its goal was not simply to have an online presence, but to create a “first-class experience that is consistent with the Borgata name."

“Over the last 10 years, we have built Borgata into one of the gaming industry's strongest brands, and soon we will leverage that brand to pursue the significant long-term growth opportunity presented by online gaming,” said Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith in earnings call following the release of the company’s Q3 results Thursday.

As the company prepares for the launch of real-money gaming, Smith said that its efforts are now focused on three priorities; third-party online slot content, geolocation and player identity tools, and online payment processing options.

Boyd will integrate “compelling” third-party content and products from a number of major slot manufacturers, in addition to those provided by its partner bwin.party. It will also ensure adequate testing of the tools that confirm the location and identity of its players, while providing a variety of payment options for customers including credit cards, checks and prepaid debit cards.

“We are making great progress on all of these fronts and will remain on track to be among the first online gaming operators in New Jersey,” continued Smith. “We will launch as soon as our product meets the high expectations that Boyd Gaming and our customers have for the Borgata brand.”

While Boyd sees “great potential in New Jersey”, with the company preparing to be “aggressive” in terms of attacking the market to acquire players, Smith emphasized that this was just “one important facet of a broader strategy”, as the company looks to leverage new technology to diversify its business and deliver products in new ways.

“We are offering our customers new channels for enjoying our gaming product,” said Smith.

In New Jersey, Borgata customers are able to play from the comfort of their hotel room following a trial earlier this year, while in Nevada the company plans to launch B Connected Sports, an easy-to-use mobile sports betting app for use anywhere in the state.

Boyd will also continued its expansion into the social gaming arena following the launch last year of B Connected Social, a feature that provides game-like incentives to customers for sharing information about Boyd Gaming properties with their friends.

It also released another social gaming product Stardust Casino through a partnership with Win Interactive, which is currently in a test period prior to an anticipated rollout in the US in the coming months.

“And of course, we remain interested in pursuing domestic online gaming opportunities beyond New Jersey,” added Smith. “As lawmakers and other states proceed with the legalization and regulation of interactive gaming, we will carefully consider those opportunities.”

In its results for the third quarter, Boyd reported a 21 per cent increase in net revenues to $738.6m, reflecting the addition of the operations of Peninsula Gaming which was acquired by the company in November of last year. Net loss for the quarter amounted to $37.3m compared to a net loss of $15.8m a year ago.

Boyd said that its Q3 performance fell below expectations, as solid results in July and August were offset by significant weakness in September in many of its markets.

Shares in Boyd Gaming Corporation (Co. Data) (NYSE:BYD) closed yesterday in New York at $10.56 per share, having slumped 18.64 per cent in trading Thursday.

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