Kindred Group inks first US deal with Hard Rock Atlantic City


kindred-hard-rock-atlantic-city-gaming-betting-dealMalta-based online gambling operator Kindred Group has inked its first US deal through a partnership with Hard Rock International’s new Atlantic City casino.

On Friday, Kindred announced it had entered into an agreement with the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City that Kindred claims will allow it to “take its first important step towards offering US customers online sports betting and gaming services.”

The deal spans an initial five-year term, with an apparent option to renew for an additional five years, although at whose discretion this option might be exercised went unstated. Kindred, which announced its US ambitions during its second quarter earnings call last month, confirmed its pursuit of a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The deal announcement was short on specifics, with Kindred US senior VP Manuel Stan saying only that the company was convinced its new casino partner “will give New Jersey customers an absolutely great sports betting and gaming experience.”

Hard Rock International’s senior VP of online gaming Kresimir Spajic was equally vague, saying only that HRI hoped Kindred’s “international experience and commitment to innovation will translate to a significant success in New Jersey.” Hard Rock AC has also signed a sports betting deal with another major European player, Bet365.

Kindred, the parent company of Unibet, 32Red and numerous other online brands, is a major player in European markets as well as Australia. Its online poker product is one of the few to have displayed growth in recent years, although reviving New Jersey’s flaccid poker market would seem beyond the capability of any one operator. It’s unclear which brand Kindred will likely put forward as its US standard-bearer, although Unibet seems the obvious choice.

Interestingly, Kindred’s sports betting product is supplied by the Kambi Group, which was spun off from its then-parent Unibet into a standalone entity in 2014. Kambi also provides the betting technology of daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings, which launched New Jersey’s first (and currently only) mobile betting product earlier this month.