Processor Shift4 Payments Inc. on Thursday expanded its presence in the gambling industry to include online gambling and fantasy leagues through a partnership with Sightline Payments, a provider of cashless gaming and betting solutions.
The partnership complements Shift4’s existing relationships with Las Vegas casinos and other betting venues around the country and is expected make online sports betting a component of in-venue gaming and sports-book operations within casinos for which Shift4 processes transactions.
“Online sports-book and fantasy-league betting is hot right now and it’s growing within casinos,” says Michael Isaacman, chief commercial officer at Shift4. “This partnership enables our customers to provide their consumers a better gaming experience, both in-venue and digitally. It’s a green-field opportunity for us.”
Shift4 partnered with Sightline because of the company’s knowledge about online gambling and payments. “There is a lot of thought leadership there,” Isaacman says.
The two companies are pursuing opportunities to grow their online gambling presence. “As the world at large continues to shift away from cash and towards robust, forward-thinking digital payments solutions and loyalty programs, it is a pleasure to partner with a powerhouse like Shift4,” Sightline chief executive Joe Pappano said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing to expand our pipeline and delivering on the potential of this partnership.”
Online sports betting has been a booming business since its legalization in 2018. Between June 2018 and mid-October 2020, $26.9 billion in legal sports bets were wagered. About 90% of all U.S. sports bets placed are through digital channels, according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research and consulting firm that tracks sports-betting regulation and revenue.
Allentown, Pa.-based Shift4, which went public in June with an oversubscribed initial public offering that raised $497 million in net proceeds, processed more than $200 billion in payments volume for more than 200,000 businesses in 2019. Shift4 services merchants across a wide breadth of segments, including hospitality, retail, food and beverage, e-commerce, lodging, and gaming.
Shift4 used the proceeds from its IPO to pay down more than $285 million in debt and put more than $200 million on its balance sheet.