MGM Resorts Inks Exclusive Deal With NHLJake Cooper | 05 Nov 2018
MGM Resorts are taking full advantage of the newly opened sports betting industry in the US. Not only is the company applying for licenses in each state as they regulate their market, but they are also signing exclusive betting partnership with the major sports leagues.
Second Major Sport League For MGM
Earlier this year in July, MGM resorts and the NBA concluded a partnership contract, which makes MGM the official gaming partner. This contract allows the provider the right to all official NBA and WNBA data, and the use of the league’s logos on their betting platforms.
This month the company has realized the same contract, but this time with the NHL. MGM will receive all of the NHL data collected throughout the matches on the leagues new tracking systems. This information will be used on the company’s sports betting platform to facilitate in-play wagering. The brand will also have full rights to use NHL branding across its US platforms.
Will the NHL Be Receiving Integrity Fees?
When the US sports betting market officially opened there was much speculation by the leagues about how they could generate revenue from the regulated market. One such suggestion, which made headlines, was a percentage payment of the handle from sportsbooks. Certain leagues such as the NBA went as far as to make it their standard practice.
However, this did not materialize in the NBA contract, and the NHL contract is no different. The specific details of the agreement have not been released, but the league has confirmed that it will not be receiving a portion of the bets.
In a statement from Keith Watchel the Executive Vice President of the NHL, he said that the league had never had concerns about the integrity of the game, and that it is as important to the bookmakers as it is to the league.
The NHL is one of the few leagues that have not tried to force integrity fees by pressurizing lawmakers to make them a legal requirement.
What Are Integrity Fees?
To put it simply, integrity fees are the equivalent to taxes, but are levied by the sports leagues and paid to them by the sportsbooks that offer bets on the games.
The fee is charged as a percentage of the handle, which is the total monetary value of the bets placed by bettors. Charged at a low 1% because the fee is a portion of the handle and not revenue, in a mature market this could amount to billions in fees that would go to the governing bodies of the sports.