With sports betting quickly becoming legalized in multiple U.S. states, pro leagues are getting in on the action.
On Monday, the National Hockey League announced a multi-year deal deal with MGM Resorts International to become its first official betting sponsor. In July, the National Basketball Association signed a betting sponsorship deal with MGM.
The NHL’s deal with MGM is not exclusive — unlike the NBA’s — which means the league can sell sponsorship to other partners. But like the NBA’s deal, MGM Resorts will use official NHL data and branding across MGM Resorts’ land-based and digital sports betting offerings throughout the United States.
“The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our League,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. “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.”
In May, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a federal ban on sports gambling, portending to a future that sees gambling legalized across most, if not all, of the 50 states. Since then, four states — Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia — have legalized sports gambling, joining Nevada, where gambling had been legal for years.
The NHL is currently the only major pro league to have a team based in Las Vegas, where sports betting has been a mainstay for years. The NFL will soon follow when the Oakland Raiders make the move to Las Vegas within the next few years.