Boom-and-bust cycles are typical in any industry. It’s impressive, however, just how fast the pattern is playing out for US online gambling.
That’s not to say the industry itself is on its way out. Sportsbooks and online casinos are here to stay. However, smaller operators are now exiting the space just as quickly as they flocked to it over the past two or three years.
The latest casualty of the industry’s attrition phase is MaximBet. This afternoon, it made the following announcement:
It is with regret that we inform you that, effective immediately, MaximBet will cease operations. Challenging macroeconomic conditions and an increasingly cost prohibitive marketplace have accelerated this difficult decision.
MaximBet began as a partnership between the online gambling company Carousel Group and the men’s magazine Maxim. It seemed to be trying to occupy the same niche as Barstool Sportsbook and, to a lesser extent, SI Sportsbook, blending media with gambling and catering to a young male audience.
The rapper Nicki Minaj was a prominent investor in the company.
Gone Before it Arrived
MaximBet hadn’t yet launched in New Jersey, but it was on its way. Before its shutdown, it had only been operating in Colorado.
The company had stated it planned to seek entry to the Ontario, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio markets. It had a partnership in place with Caesars that would have facilitated this.
Except for Ohio, each of those markets also allows online casinos. That suggested that the company would have eventually planned to add online casino gaming, as well as sports betting.
New Jersey has been the traditional jumping-off point for new online casino brands in the US. However, with about 30 sites now operating in the market, there isn’t much room for more.
As a result, the Garden State has also been the source of many of these tales of failure. In October, it lost Vie.gg and Fubo Sportsbook in a matter of days. Over the summer, it also saw TheScore Bet shut down, as its owner Penn Entertainment – which also operates Barstool – decided to focus on the Canadian market with that brand.
Colorado Users’ Funds are Safe
There’s not much for New Jersey sports bettors to do except find somewhere else to bet.
Those in Colorado who’d already signed up with MaximBet can retrieve their money but have a limited time to do so conveniently. The lights will go out for good on December 15. After that, players will still be entitled to their money but will have to wait for a check in the mail.
The sportsbook is no longer taking new bets but will continue to pay out existing ones until the December 15 deadline. Any futures bets that haven’t been resolved by that point will be “cashed out” according to the current odds.