You Bet Your Ice: NHL Signs MGM Resorts International As Official Gaming Partner
Monday, October 29, 2018 at 03:24PM in MGM Resorts, NHL, NHL, sports betting, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

October 29, 2018: Showing that he is a betting man, commissioner Gary Bettman said that the NHL has signed a multi-year deal naming MGM Resorts International as the first official sports betting partner of the league.

Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.

The U.S. Supreme Court in May overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which opened the door for legalized sports betting in the U.S, with individual states now deciding whether or not, and how, to enact the process.

"The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our league," Bettman said today during a media conference in the league’s New York office.

"As a leading global gaming operator and entertainment company, MGM Resorts is the perfect partner for us to begin our transformative entry into this space. Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do."

The NHL is looking at an additional $216 million opportunity annually from legal betting, according to a recent report from the American Gaming Assn.

The NHL is the second U.S.-based pro sports league to sign an official betting partner.

In July, the NBA signed a deal naming MGM Resorts International as its official casino partner for the NBA and the WNBA.

The NHL Vegas Golden Knights in September signed an alliance with sports book operator William Hill, the first NHL team to ink such a deal. William Hill added the New Jersey Devils as a partner last week.

Under terms of the deal, MGM Resorts, also an official resorts partner of the NHL, will have the ability to “market many of its products and services” to the NHL's  fans via its various media platforms and events.

In addition, MGM Resorts said it would use official NHL branding in its land-based and digital sports betting offerings within the U.S.; and  will have access to enhanced NHL proprietary game data that will be generated by the league's state-of-the-art tracking systems currently under development.

According to Jim Murren, MGM Resorts chairman and CEO, who was in attendance at the media conference,  "The league is home to some of the most exciting action in sports, and we are thrilled to join with them to create new immersive and exhilarating experiences for hockey fans.

“Combining MGM Resorts' world-class sports betting operations and technology with the NHL's top-level competition, iconic brands and cutting-edge data will further transform the rapidly growing sports betting marketplace and solidify our position at the forefront of the industry."

According to a new report from AGA, the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL could realize a combined $4.2 billion annually not just from legal, regulated sports betting, but from such related platforms as increased consumption of the leagues' products, revenue as a result of spending by betting operators and data providers, advertising, sponsorship revenue and data.

Included in the NHL’s potential $216 million opportunity annually from legal betting, “Greater fan engagement and viewership could boost the NHL’s total annual revenue from media rights, sponsorships, merchandise and ticket sales by 3.5%, producing $151 million in new revenue from increased consumption of the league’s products,” according to AGA.

"The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our league."

The study projects that legal sports betting could help the NHL generate an additional $65 million in revenue as a result of spending by betting operators and data providers; and that gaming operators may spend $24 million on advertising, which will directly increase the league’s rights fees by the same amount.

An additional $35 million in sponsorship revenue and $6 million in data is also projected for the NHL league and its teams.

In September, the Dallas Cowboys became the first NFL team with a casino deal, signing a multi-year pact naming WinStar World Casino and Resort as the official casino of the team.

According to the AGA, the NFL alone could realize $2.3 billion in increased annual revenue.

Annual revenues for MLB and the NBA have the potential to increase by $1.1 billion and $585 million, respectively, while the NHL  could see an annual bump of $216 million.

"The four major sports leagues will earn a collective $4.2 billion from widely available legal sports betting, further proving that working together with the gaming industry will pay dividends for all sports stakeholders,"  Sara Slane, svp-public affairs for the AGA, said via the group.

NHL Could See $200M+ Annual Revenue Boost From Legal Betting

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