‘Shaq 9’ and ‘Shaq Jam’ free-to-play casual casino games
Where does Shaquille O’Neal get the energy?
Many retirees come to Las Vegas to settle down in the suburbs and spend their days playing penny slots. Shaq Diesel, on the other hand, just keeps making moves.
The retired NBA hall-of-famer-turned-Vegas-DJ-turned-video-game-avatar-turned-chicken restaurant entrepreneur (who’s also on the Papa John’s board of directors and is a global spokesman for Krispy Kreme Donuts) has signed on as a brand ambassador for Wynn Interactive mobile sports betting app WynnBET, where he’ll act as a strategic consultant, appear at fan events, star in a free-to-play in-app game, “ShaqPot,” and headline a forthcoming advertising campaign.
O’Neal’s move into the sports betting industry means he will have to sell his 8-year-old minority stake in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings (they never finished above third place during his tenure anyway), but it further strengthens his ties to Las Vegas and Wynn Resorts. The 49-year-old “DJ Diesel” is a fixture on Wynn’s Nightlife residency roster, and in 2018 he opened his Big Chicken restaurant across from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (now Virgin Hotels Las Vegas), chronicling the endeavor on a Facebook Watch series appropriately dubbed “Big Chicken Shaq.”
He even comes to WynnBET with mobile gaming experience, having partnered with Las Vegas-based PLAYSTUDIOS for the company’s “Shaq 9” and “Shaq Jam” free-to-play casual casino games. Admittingly, O’Neal’s been doing the video game thing for decades, as fans of “Shaq Fu” and “Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn” can attest.
WynnBET’s Shaq-fronted television, digital, and print campaign is set to launch later this summer. He’ll also cameo as himself in October’s “Jackass Forever.”