US Leagues Suddenly Pro Sports BettingJake Cooper | 18 Dec 2018
The American sports leagues that fought the very idea of legal sports betting are now quite happily cashing in.
According to a recently announced agreement, the NBA will be partnering up with Genius Sports and Sportradar so that the teams’ wagering data can be accessed by US bookmakers. This contract was made public just 1 day after it became known that MLB was linking up with MGM Resorts in order to become a formal gambling partner in the USA and Japan. The hospitality and entertainment company has come to similar understandings with the NHL and the WNBA, and additionally has a deal with the New York Jets. MGM will be promoting the teams’ properties and mobile application to punters and fans.
A Modern-Day Gold Rush
Sharon Otterman, the Chief Marketing Officer for William Hill US, likened the current scene to a gold rush. She explained that it’s a brand-new industry, and everyone is scrambling to get a piece of it.
Adam Silver, the Commissioner for the NBA, said that, as the wagering landscape keeps evolving, these new contracts will provide reliable, robust data that will see fans getting the best betting experience every time. Vice President and Head of Fantasy and Gaming for the Basketball league Scott Kaufman-Ross said that they were well aware of the changing prospects, before adding that better results would be received in regulated markets.
The Chief Executive Officer for MGM, Jim Murren, held a sports betting conference in New York this month, and let it be known that the leagues and the bookmakers understand now that they need one another. He stated that it was new territory, and although they couldn’t foresee how everything was going to work out, the 2 parties have agreed to work together to navigate this new terrain.
New Jersey Lead the Way
New Jersey won a Supreme Court case in May this year that cleared the way for the whole of the US to start offering lawful wagers on various games, tournaments, and matches. So far 7 states have stepped up to the punter’s plate: Delaware, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. And although the law was not passed in New Mexico, betting took place at the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel in October, via a tribal gambling compact. Needless to say, New Jersey faced enormous resistance from all 4 of the professional leagues before the judgement was handed down, but that’s all in the past, it seems.