WynnBet Hunting For Some Goodwill With Ben Affleck Spokesperson Deal

Written By Derek Helling on August 16, 2021
WynnBet NY Ben Affleck

One of the men to formerly don the cloak and cowl as Gotham City’s Dark Knight might soon be seen around New York again, but this time without the mask. A new Ben AffleckWynnBet partnership signals the online sportsbook plans to use the actor and director in its marketing.

That’s if regulators in the Empire State grants a sports betting license to the group that includes WynnBet Sportsbook. While that may not mean Affleck will reprise his role as Batman again, his new part for WynnBet could actually be bigger.

Details of the Ben Affleck-WynnBet partnership

WynnBet is part of a joint bid for a platform provider license in NY with the Oneida Indian Nation, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, and a few other companies that represent its competitors in other markets. Those are:

According to a redacted copy of the bid, Affleck is listed among “notable marketing partners across our consortium.” Other names on the list under WynnBet include Shaquille O’Neal and the Jim Rome Show.

Affleck and Shaq filming in Vegas

Back in June, Affleck was spotted filming at the Wynn, both in front of and behind the cameras. Also present? O’Neal.

It appears the two were filming commercials, likely to promote WynnBet come football season. O’Neal did not identify the project, but told PopCulture.com that Affleck was directing the project and he and the actor had a great bond.

Affleck has a long history with Vegas, including notoriously being banned from Hard Rock Casino for card counting while playing blackjack. He has also played in World Series of Poker events in the past.

It’s unclear if Affleck’s interest in Boston sports is part of the reason he is working with WynnBet, but that angle probably won’t get played up if the app gets into New York.

Which NY team might join Affleck in the bid?

Also of interest for New Yorkers is that the bid lists a “NY Pro Team” from the ranks of either MLB, NASCAR, the NBA, the NFL, or the NHL as “pending.” Through a process of elimination, it’s possible to narrow down the field of which team that could be.

So far, the following NY teams have already signed onto a competing bid:

  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • New York Yankees

If the details about which segments the pending party belong to prove true, then that leaves the following in the realm of possibility:

  • New York Islanders
  • New York Knicks
  • New York Mets
  • New York Rangers

It’s also possible that the bid could stretch the term “NY Pro Team” a bit and enlist the New York Giants and/or Jets. New Yorkers will know those teams’ home stadium is actually in New Jersey.

What’s the benefit to one of these bids in contracting with a celebrity like Affleck or a sports team? The state has the same primary interest as WynnBet. That is, making the most money possible.

Affleck is on the team for his marketability

All the parties to the WynnBet bid hope to convince the NY State Gaming Commission that they can bring a fortune to the state. The Commission is likely to prioritize bids it believes will deliver the most tax revenue to the state for licensure.

The bid offers the state a 51% revenue share. However, 51% of a small number is an even smaller number. The parties to this bid have to present more than just an attractive rev share rate.

They also need to prove they have a plan and the resources to convince New Yorkers to use their platforms. That’s where Affleck could come in. Should this bid win out, ads featuring Affleck across a variety of platforms will hit New York soon.

Photo by AP / Jordan Strauss
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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