Image: MaximBet Twitter
Maxim is expanding its business model, leaving the cover girl and morphing into the gambler. With the launch of MaximBet, its online betting platform, the Maxim brand has become the most recent media company to diversify into the sports betting and iGaming markets.
On Tuesday, Carousel Group, the Malta-based online gambling company that owns and operates MaximBet, announced its new betting platform would soon expand into Ohio’s sports betting market. The platform launched in Colorado at the start of this month.
Biglari Holdings, a publicly-traded company belonging to entrepreneur Sardar Biglari, owns the Maxim brand. Earlier this year, the brand agreed on a multimillion-dollar licensing deal with Carousel Group. MaximBet’s operations in Colorado are backed by a gambling license which Carousel Group owns via its affiliation with a local casino in Cripple Creek.
Carousel Group already holds partnership deals with Caesars Entertainment in Iowa, Indiana, and New Jersey, three states MaximBet intends to expand into. The multimillion-dollar agreement saw Caesars acquire the right to use the Maxim name alongside a minority stake in the online betting venture.
Carousel Group was set up in 2017 by CEO Daniel Graetzer; the group is known for SportsBetting.com, its flagship product. The company agreed to the licensing deal that formed MaximBet in a bid to carve a space for itself in a crowded online sports gambling scene that involves big-time players such as FanDuel, DraftKings, WynnResorts, and BetMGM alongside media brands like Barstool Sports and Sports Illustrated.
“We’ve spent quite a bit of time searching for partnerships that can offer us brand recognition in the online gambling market. To be able to stand out in a unique space in the online gambling scene, well, that’s a real game-changer for us,” Graetzer says.
The CEO further stated that the unique space was the ‘Maxim lifestyle,’ describing it as aspirational and typified by VIPS, influencers, celebrities, and ‘amazing parties.’’ The first party for the new online gambling platform will take place in Denver on Halloween and will be followed by Maxim’s annual LA Super Bowl party in February.
Maxim’s Senior Vice president of operations, Kai Olderog, added that the company expects sports betting to be a massive part of its future. “Gambling on sports has become a huge business, and we hope that it will be a crucial part of Maxim’s future,” Olderog said.
MaximBet is not Maxim’s first attempted foray into the betting business. Almost two decades ago, back when Biglari Holdings had not come into ownership of Maxim, the company revealed plans to launch a casino-hotel in Las Vegas with a Southern California developer. Those plans never came together, though.
Revenue diversification is the goal for Maxim, as it was for other media brands that have stepped into the world of vices. Back in June, the Authentic Brands Group-owned Sports Illustrated, a 67-year-old media company, partnered with an online betting company to launch SI Sportsbook, its mobile sports betting app. The app went live in Colorado earlier this month and will soon launch in Iowa, New Jersey, and Indiana.
In May, the Associated Press and FanDuel agreed on a deal that saw the sports betting giant become AP’s global reports’ exclusive sports odds provider. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that Disney-owned ESPN is in talks that center around executing a potential $3 billion brand licensing deal with DraftKings or Caesars Entertainment.
The sports betting industry is blistering hot right now, with loads of revenue available to be made. Data from the American Gaming Association revealed that Americans staked $1.85 billion with legal sportsbooks across the first half of this year. That figure already puts 2021 ahead of 2020, when Americans bet $1.53 billion. Macquarie Research reports that by 2030, the sports betting market could be worth up to $30 billion.
Sportradar, a Switzerland-based company that offers in-game statistics and other league data compilations to gambling operators and media companies, recently became listed on Nasdaq. On Tuesday, founder and CEO Carsten Koerl became a billionaire after the company went public.
Carousel Group remains a small startup in the betting market relative to the multi-billion-dollar companies that dominate the scene. Four months ago, the group raised a Series A round worth $50 million from a subsidiary of ZK International Group Co., Ltd. The funds raised from the China-based steel pipe subsidiary were pegged at a valuation of $200 million.
Maxim is in a slightly different situation. In 2014, Sardar Biglari acquired the company for $12 million via his Biglari Holdings venture. Sports betting is a brand new opportunity to bring in revenue to cover the dwindling magazine industry. Maxim’s $982,000 generated during 2021 Q1 went down to $709,000 in the second quarter of the year.
Biglari Holdings revealed in its quarterly report that it acquired Maxim with “the aim of revolutionizing its business model by using the cash-generating, consumer-centric pattern of licensing to generate non-magazine revenue.” The company’s deal with Carousel represents just that.
However, that’s not to say Maxim is ending its expansion with sports gambling. The company is also pursuing other trends as it looks to diversify its revenue. One such trend is the thriving world of non-fungible tokens (NFT)
Senior Vice President Kai Olderog said: “We’ve recently launched MaximNFT, a service that will offer our own NFTS as well as tokens from celebrities, musicians, sports stars, and other individuals at the forefront of pop culture.
If you are looking to get into the exciting world of sports betting in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana and many other states, sports betting is now legal, safe, and fun. Check out the US sports betting hub and find the best legal sportsbook apps in your state. While at it, don’t forget to claim a free bonus to get your bankroll started!
Sugarhouse is owned by Rush Interactive, which is one of the most prominent providers of online sportsbook and casinos in the country. In 2016, SugarHouse launched it online casino in New Jersey, joined by its online sportsbook in 2018. Since then, it became a leading casino and sportsbook for Americans. Check out their fantastic bonuses, games and bets available, and see yourself why when it comes to casino and sports betting in the USA, Sugarhouse is a Powerhouse
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