Top Hollywood celebrity, Chris Rock has joined MGM Resorts International as an ambassador as part of BetMGM’s UK Launch.
It’s a fairly common sight for sportsbooks to hire a comedian and actor as their marketing campaign headliner, with DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbooks testing out the strategy first.
Back in 2022, DraftKings announced that Kevin Hart would lead their New Year’s Eve campaign at Las Vegas. Prior to then, Hart had been the face of DraftKings for a long time.
In March this year, DraftKings released the “Hart-Race Hold’em, a poker game featuring over 1,000 one-liners from the comedian. Similarly, Caesars employed JB Smoove, a less popular actor and comedian, on its sportsbook campaigns.
BetMGM launched its UK iCasino and sportsbook on August 17 and is looking to establish the brand’s recognition in Britain, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Rock will lead the advertisement of BetMGM in the United Kingdom. As part of the deal, Chris Rock will feature in several multimedia marketing campaigns.
Before bringing Chris Rock on board, Jamie Foxx had been the marketing headliner for BetMGM in the United States. However, with Foxx away from public activity due to an undisclosed health issue, BetMGM immediately hired the services of Rock.
Chris Rock will appear on billboards, TV commercials and social media content. BetMGM kicked off the first round of the marketing campaign with a 30-second TV ad. Rock is seen riding a golden speedboat on the Thames River, moving from the Bellagio Fountains to the Tower Bridge.
The ad is also inundated with BetMGM emblems and the famous MGM lion. “We’re here in the UK to make every game an occasion,” Rock announces in the ad.
Rock further highlights the special offers and promotions available to customers in the UK market. Due to new UK Gambling Commission requirements, BetMGM included a responsible gambling message in the ad.
“With tools that help you play safe, get ready for the golden era in sports and casinos. BetMGM. It’s showtime,” Rock declared. The latest UKGC Responsible Gambling Code for Socially Responsible Advertising demands that Betting and Gaming Council members reference “BeGambleAware.org” and show an “18+” sign on ads.
Commenting on the new marketing partnership, Director of BetMGM UK, Sam Behar believes that Rock is an “A-list” ambassador. Choosing such a celebrity reflects on the company’s “commitment” to bring a fresh and exciting approach to the UK market.
“We are incredibly excited to launch BetMGM in the UK and give customers something new. This campaign leverages the heritage of MGM Resorts’ best-in-class Las Vegas entertainment to deliver a unique proposition to the UK market,” Behar said.
Contrary to expectations, BetMGM engaged LeoVegas for its UK launch, ditching Entain, its long standing collaborator. For context, BetMGM was created as a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain.
However, not only is BetMGM expanding without Entain, it is setting up itself in direct competition to the global online casino and sports betting operator.
MGM Resorts International acquired LeoVegas in 2022 for $604 million, eventually relying on LeoVegas for the technology and platform used in the launch. This arrangement will see BetMGM contend with Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala, all owned by Entain, for a chunk of the market share.
BetMGM has also partnered with Kingbridge, a mental health services provider that will cater to customers looking to self-exclude from gambling on the platform.
“We are eager to champion the growth and expansion of connecting problem gamblers with the crucial services they need,” Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM noted in connection to the Kingbridge partnership.
With BetMGM UK in its early stages, players can enjoy several bonuses. Foremost of all is the “Golden Goals,” a free-to-play Premier League challenge. All customers get to predict six Premier League results each gameweek and stand a chance to win £2 million.