5 Sizzling 'Strong Buy' Gambling Stocks to Grab With the NFL and College Betting Season Right Around the Corner

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With the NFL and college football seasons right around the corner, you can be sure that people that love to gamble on games and bet on fantasy gaming are ready and set to roll. One thing is for sure: the top companies in the legalized betting world are getting ready for a huge season, and smart growth stock investors should grab some of the top stocks now.
While it was carried on across the United States every single day of the year forever, sports betting was only legal in Nevada and Delaware for eternity. After years of efforts to change the rulings that kept it illegal, that prohibition came to an end in 2018 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of individual states in a case involving the constitutionality defined by a 1992 law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which prohibited states other than Nevada and Delaware from operating sports betting. Currently, 37 states have approved legal sports betting, and more are sure to follow.

We screened our 24/7 Wall St. research database looking for stocks that are rated Buy that could be poised to have a huge fall football season. We found five that top firms across Wall Street are very positive on. It is still important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Caesars Entertainment

Shares of this well-known old-school gaming company are offering solid upside. Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) provides casino entertainment and hospitality services, primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars, Horseshoe and Eldorado brand names, in the United States. It owns, leases or manages domestic properties in 16 states with slot machines, video lottery terminals and e-tables, and hotel rooms, as well as table games, including poker.

Caesars Entertainment also operates and conducts sports wagering across 28 jurisdictions in North America, including mobile for sports betting and regulated online real money gaming in six jurisdictions; retail and online gaming and sports betting; and other games, such as keno. In addition, the company operates dining venues, bars, nightclubs, lounges, hotels and entertainment venues, and it provides staffing and management services.

Wells Fargo has a $74 target price on Caesars Entertainment stock. The $73.15 consensus target is also well above the $52.78 closing share price on Thursday.


This company is a sector leader, and shares backed up some after the Penn-ESPN deal was announced. DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) operates as a digital sports entertainment and gaming company. It offers multichannel sports betting and gaming technologies, powering sports and gaming entertainment for operators in 17 countries.

The company operates iGaming through its DraftKings brand in five states, as well as operates Golden Nugget Online Gaming, an iGaming product and gaming brand, in three states. Its Sportsbook is live with mobile and/or retail betting operations in the United States pursuant to regulations in 18 states.
DraftKings’s daily fantasy sports product is available in six countries with 15 distinct sports categories. In addition, it offers DraftKings Marketplace, a digital collectibles ecosystem designed for mainstream accessibility that offers curated NFT drops and supports secondary-market transactions, as well as owns Vegas Sports Information Network, a multiplatform broadcast and content company.

Truist Financial has set a $44 price target, and DraftKings stock has a $35.29 consensus target. Thursday’s $26.77 close was down almost 4% for the day on the very weak tape.

MGM Resorts

This is another old-school gambling play that has jumped into the online and mobile sports gambling arena. MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) owns and operates casino, hotel, and entertainment resorts in the United States and Macau that offer gaming, convention, dining, entertainment, retail and other resort amenities.

The company’s casino operations include slots and table games, as well as online sports betting and iGaming through BetMGM. Its customers include premium gaming customers; leisure and wholesale travel customers; business travelers; and group customers, including conventions, trade associations and small meetings.

Citigroup’s target price is $59, and the consensus target is $54.48. MGM Resorts stock ended Thursday’s session trading at $42.55.

Penn Entertainment

This is an analyst favorite for online gaming and gambling, and it just announced the aforementioned deal with ESPN. Penn Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) provides integrated entertainment, sports content and casino gaming experiences in North America. It operates online sports betting in various jurisdictions, as well as iCasino under a portfolio of brands, including Hollywood Casino, L’Auberge, Barstool Sportsbook and theScore Bet.

The company’s portfolio also includes MyChoice, a customer loyalty program that offers a set of rewards and experiences for business channels. In addition, it owns various trademarks and service marks, including Ameristar, Argosy, Boomtown, Greektown, Hollywood Casino, Hollywood Gaming, L’Auberge, and M Resort.
In the blockbuster deal, ESPN will license its name to casino and sports betting operator Penn Entertainment in a deal worth $1.5 billion over 10 years. Penn Entertainment is trading one sports media brand as a betting partner (Barstool Sports, which was sold back to founder Dave Portnoy for $1) for one with an even bigger name, cable sports giant ESPN. While taking a huge loss on the Barstool Sports investment, the company hopes the deal will give a huge upgrade to its gambling business. The strategic partnership should provide Penn with access to ESPN’s audience of 370 million across all social platforms, 105 million monthly unique digital users and 25 million ESPN+ subscribers.
Penn Entertainment stock has a $44 target price at Needham. The consensus target is $33.56, and the shares closed at $22.83 on Thursday.

Wynn Resorts

This opulent casino company is the high-end of the industry and offers very solid long-term growth potential. Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) designs, develops and operates integrated resorts. The company operates through the following four segments.

The Wynn Palace segment operates private gaming salons and sky casinos; a luxury hotel tower with suites and villas, including a health club, spa, salon and pool; food and beverage outlets; retail space; meeting and convention space; and performance lake and floral art displays.

The Wynn Macau segment operates casino space with private gaming salons, sky casinos and a poker room; a luxury hotel tower that includes health clubs, spas, a salon and a pool; food and beverage outlets; retail space; meeting and convention space; and Chinese zodiac-inspired ceiling attractions.

The Las Vegas Operations segment operates casino space with private gaming salons, a sky casino, a poker room and a race and sports book; a luxury hotel tower with suites and villas, including swimming pools, private cabanas, full-service spas and salons, and a wedding chapel; food and beverage outlets; meeting and convention space; retail space; and theaters, nightclubs and a beach club.

The Encore Boston Harbor segment operates casino space with gaming areas and a poker room; a luxury hotel tower with a spa and salon; food and beverage outlets and a nightclub; retail space; meeting and convention space; and a waterfront park, floral displays and water shuttle service.

The $150 Stifel price objective is a Wall Street high. The consensus target is just $127.57. On Thursday, Wynn Resorts stock closed at $94.79 a share.

With 37 states now having legalized sports gambling, the huge potential for the total addressable market is more than enough reason for investors with a solid risk appetite to add one or all these stocks to growth portfolios. The NFL and college football seasons will be huge for all these companies. While the betting handle and action will not pick up in earnest until the regular NFL season starts and college football kicks off, when it does it is just a few weeks it will be a Tsunami of incoming action on countless straight and proposition bets.

It is important to remember this gambling axiom: They don’t build those big casinos in Las Vegas because the house loses.

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