Caesars in 'best' position for sports betting, able to set up 'very quickly': CEO

  • Caesars has been focused on digital and mobile platforms and the sports-betting ruling plays right into that, CEO Mark Frissora says.
  • Therefore it will be able to set up "very quickly" in states that pass sports-betting legislation, he says.
  • He believes legal sports betting "could hit every single state in the country."

Caesars Entertainment is in the "best" position to take advantage of legal sports betting, its CEO Mark Frissora told CNBC on Tuesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can legalize sports betting, breaking up Nevada's monopoly on the practice.

"We've been very focused on digital and mobile as platforms that we want to incorporate in our business model, and this plays right into that," Frissora told CNBC's Contessa Brewer on "Power Lunch."

While the casino company sold its online games business, known as Playtika, during its bankruptcy proceedings, it still has the core capability in-house, he said.

Therefore, the company will be able to "set up very quickly" in states that pass sports-betting legislation, Frissora added.

Video slot machines at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
George Rose | Getty Images
Video slot machines at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Caesars' main operating unit went into bankruptcy in 2015 and emerged from it last October.

While awaiting Monday's ruling, seven states — Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New York, Mississippi and West Virginia — had laws prepared to make sports betting legal and may be able to be ready before the NFL's season begins in September.

Thirteen other states have plans or proposals to consider legalizing sports betting: California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

"It could hit every single state in the country, because everyone needs what I would call these tax revenue dollars that come from this," Frissora predicted.

Cleaning up sports betting

Meanwhile, he's not concerned that there will be an increase in the potential for game fixing or gambling addiction. In fact, he said legalizing it will help curb those problems.

"Today it's an illegal market and it's not monitored properly," he said. "We actually think it will clean up the game and clean up sports betting."

According to the American Gaming Association, at least $150 billion a year is wagered illegally on sports.

Several casino stocks rose on the news Monday, including Caesars and MGM Resorts International.

MGM is also ready to jump into the game, CEO Jim Murren told CNBC on Monday.

"We have already established the architecture to deploy sports betting as soon as the states allow us to do that," he said on "Power Lunch."'

Murren believes the end result would be "hundreds of millions of dollars in profit to the company."

Caesars and MGM are not alone in expecting a big boom in business.

According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the ruling will significantly boost the sales of several gaming-related companies.

"We expect operator margins to be low but see upside for all of regional gaming, while gaming tech could be a key beneficiary," analyst Shaun Kelley wrote in a note to clients.

He predicts the industry's gross gaming revenue from sports betting could rise to $5 billion to $10 billion in five years versus the $200 million current size today.

Shares of Caesars were up 1.4 percent on Tuesday.

— CNBC's Tae Kim and Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.