BetMGM CEO Greenblatt Sees State Farm Stadium Sportsbook as Future of Betting

BetMGM CEO Greenblatt Sees State Farm Stadium Sportsbook as Future of Betting
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The third Arizona sportsbook on the grounds of a professional sports venue opened its doors to members of the media Thursday morning.

The BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona retail location at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, with its 17,000-square-feet of space, 200-plus foot video board, and ample bar and lounge seating, became the newest jewel in the heart of the Valley.

During Thursday’s event, officials from BetMGM, the Arizona Cardinals, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey took turns discussing what the retail sportsbook means to sports betting in Arizona.

After the event concluded, got the opportunity to sit down with Adam Greenblatt, who serves as CEO of BetMGM, discussing everything from the facility’s importance as the first retail sportsbook to open on the grounds of an NFL stadium to the operator’s opinion of Arizona sports betting apps as a whole.

The BetMGM Sportsbook is sure to be a hub with the Super Bowl in Arizona in February.

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Below is a transcript of that conversation with the Cape Town native, edited for brevity and clarity.

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Grand Opening ‘About the Future’ How does it feel to see today’s opening of the BetMGM at State Farm Stadium facility come to fruition?

Adam Greenblatt: Honestly, this feels like a coming of age for both BetMGM and our relationship with the NFL. We had the governor of the state, we had an NFL team owner, [MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle], and me, standing shoulder to shoulder, representing our individual excitement about what we've done here.

That would have been unheard of four years ago. It wouldn't have happened. And so, for me, this is about the future. This is about this venue, and a partnership with obviously the Arizona Cardinals and the potential for supercharging the fan experience here; making money for BetMGM, of course, while also making money for the state of Arizona and it also gives us the first [sportsbook] of its kind on an NFL campus.

I think it opens the door for potentially more [facilities] like this. Obviously, we want to make sure that it works. You want to show that it works. But it allows us to look to the future with more options. What does it mean to BetMGM to open the first retail sportsbook on the grounds of an NFL stadium, and to do so in Arizona, in particular?

Greenblatt: We’ve long sought to forge close bonds with NFL teams. But this is obviously the first physical sportsbook on an NFL property. We've sought to align ourselves with teams before because there are benefits with being associated with a team.

It brings a credibility to BetMGM as a newer brand, right? So, the association with something that fans know and trust extends that credibility to BetMGM.

Now it's more access to fans, access to advertising within the stadium and hospitality for our VIP players. So really just building around the experience of wagering and sports. What this means for the future for the other teams, I'm not sure.

With BetMGM, we’re quite discerning when it comes to how we allocate capital. And we’re not a charity, of course, we're a business and so, will the other 31 teams do something similar to this? I think the question is, does the sportsbook need to be in the stadium or outside of the stadium?

If in the stadium, how many event days are there? Because, if the sportsbook is in the stadium and the stadium was closed and there's nothing going on, you're not making any money or not generating any tax revenue.

So really, it's in everyone's interests to have that sportsbook accessible, even on non-game days. And I think if the other teams can figure that out, this is a really interesting model.

Arizona Celebrates One Year of Legal Sports Betting This week is the one-year anniversary of sports betting in Arizona. How has the market matured since you launched on Day 1 and has the state punched above its weight class when it comes to handle, in your opinion?

Greenblatt: Arizona is now one of our most important markets nationwide. We're in 25 different markets now, and Arizona is in our handful of jewels category.

What we've seen is real fandom, real interest in sports, a high degree of player retention and more loyalty. And it's been a terrific market for us.

The regulatory environment is also sensible. And so, as a place to do business, I think Arizona has been really very positive for us. And as you rightly say, Arizona has punched above its weight in the league table of sports betting states for sure. How can this facility add to where Arizona and BetMGM can go over the next calendar year and in the future, after a solid opening year of sports betting in the state?

Greenblatt: So, one of the things that’s been BetMGM’s focus is creating an omni-channel strategy. We have physical sportsbooks in all of MGM physical casinos in Nevada, Ohio, New Jersey and Michigan etc. And what we want to do is create a channel agnostic ecosystem around our app.

So, if you’re at a game, you can come to the BetMGM sportsbook here, where you've got 17,000 square feet of space, a 265-square-foot, high definition screen to go and chill out and watch the game and place your bets.

You might think while you’re here, ‘Maybe I want to bet in cash today,’ or ‘Maybe I did an odd job and have a wallet full of 20s.’

And going into your physical sportsbook means that, through the use of cash, you don't have any banking delays or deposit requirements. It's immediately available.

So, that currency flexibility and the ability to take cash is one of the unique things of a retail environment as well as being in a space which enhances the viewing experience with like-minded folks around you who will all have an opinion by definition. So yeah, I think that's exciting.

So, what we've also found is that the physical locations are an effective recruitment venue for digital plays. In an ideal world, we want BetMGM Sportsbooks to be the optimum place to use BetMGM to have a great experience in every channel and become loyal to BetMGM, not only on game day, but the other 350 days of the year.

And so, we use our retail facility as a place to deliver a supercharged fun experience which cements the brand identity as well as making sure that everyone that leaves the property has the BetMGM app on their phone, so we can continue that brand relationship thereafter. What’s your parting shot to people that read this article?

Greenblatt: I couldn't be prouder of what we've achieved here. Four years ago, BetMGM was an idea. And today, we are vying for leadership in a huge and very valuable sector. And it's days like today, which demonstrates to me that we've arrived.

And so, I couldn't be more excited about the future and look to the future with such optimism, because we have things like this.

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Christopher Boan is the lead writer at after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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