NBA Announces First Exclusive Gambling Partner in the US

NBA Announces First Exclusive Gambling Partner in the US

The NBA announced Tuesday that they had become the first professional sports league in the U.S. to have an official betting partner.

The NBA signed a deal with MGM Resorts International. Details of the deal have not been confirmed, but is currently rumored to be for 3 years at $25 million. MGM will have exclusive rights to use highlights, names, logos, direct data feed, and the ability to exclusively market themselves as the official gambling partner of the NBA and WNBA.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:

“As the landscape for sports betting in the U.S. continues to evolve at a rapid pace, MGM Resorts is a proven gaming leader for us to work with on this groundbreaking partnership. Our collaboration will result in the best possible gaming and entertainment experience for consumers through the use of accurate, real-time NBA and WNBA data, and our collective efforts to maintain and enhance the integrity of our games.”

MGM CEO Jim Murren:

“The NBA has always been an innovator at the forefront of sports evolution, and MGM Resorts is thrilled to partner with the league to revolutionize sports betting in the United States. Integrating the NBA’s assets and having official NBA data showcased across the MGM Resorts platforms will provide us with a distinct advantage and instill more confidence in knowing that our data is directly from the NBA.”

NBA TV live tweeted the press conference:

NBA Forging New Ground

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has talked about bringing gambling into the NBA in the past, and made good on his word with Tuesday’s announcement. The sticking point of “integrity fees” that have been talked about by other leagues around the country have been resolved for now by the NBA, but the league will be compensated by MGM for the use of their intellectual property. It’s currently unknown if “integrity fees” are part of the current deal or will become part of the equation on a later date.

The NBA’s logos, names, and highlights will all appear on MGM’s sports betting app. MGM’s access to NBA data streams will allow the company to better create in-game betting. Currently the deal does not involve streaming rights for MGM, but has not been ruled out for the future. Currently MGM’s sports betting app will only be active in Nevada, the only state that has active mobile sports betting, but New Jersey expects to have mobile sports betting running by the end of August.

MGM’s Massive Week

Tuesday's announcement caps off a monster week for MGM, which announced just Monday that they had signed deals with GVC Holdings, owners of the UK’s famous Ladbrokes Coral, and Boyd Gaming.

With GVC, MGM and GVC announced a $200 million joint venture to bring GVC’s wealth of booking experience operating Ladbrokes Coral to help kickstart betting operations in the U.S. With Boyd, MGM and Boyd agreed to a market-sharing deal that allows both companies online and mobile access from each other’s casinos. The agreement with Boyd nearly doubles the size of MGM’s available market for general gambling.

MGM operates properties in Nevada, Maryland, Mississippi, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York (pending the acquisition of Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway). With the Boyd agreement, MGM will have access to markets in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

The story will be updated as more details become available.

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