In an announcement made this afternoon at the St. Regis New York, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the pro hoops league has signed a multi-year pact with MGM Resorts International that gives the Las Vegas-based casino colossus the right to use use official NBA data and branding across its brick-and-mortar and digital sportsbook operations.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has been talking with Murren about such an arrangement for weeks, said the leagues believe they're getting adequately compensated for the data.
The gambling giant held a joint news conference with the basketball association on Tuesday as details of the first major partnership between a U.S. sports league and a betting company were unveiled.
The partners will also work together to create a series of integrations across National Basketball Association platforms, including a digital content series.
Silver noted that the deal involved a lot of "good faith", and it's the first such deal between a pro U.S. league and a gaming company.
MGM's advantage is the designation of official gaming partner. MGM clearly sees official data and branding as having enormous pulling power, and they will be hoping that that pull is sufficiently strong to convince bettors to eschew the established black market route and place their bets on the level.
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Terms of the deal announced Tuesday were not disclosed, other than it's a multiyear arrangement.
Silver and the owners would like an "integrity fee" for states to allow gaming on their sports, and as you would expect the bookmakers pushed back hard on that. The NBA can not be careful enough about ensuring that its games are all on the level; in 2008, former referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to a 15-month prison sentence after being found guilty of manipulating point spreads in order that he might cash in on his own bets. NBA Digital's assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass. Between the companies' casinos, that could put MGM into 15 states for sports betting, should all of them eventually legalize wagering.
The new business will be split equally between the two firms, with both GVC and MGM set to invest an initial US$100 million.
The fee has been referred to by one lawmaker in New Jersey as extortion.
MGM announced Monday a joint venture with the United Kingdom-based owner of Ladbrokes, GVC Holdings, and a separate deal with us -based regional casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. Both casinos are owned by Caesars Entertainment. "We anticipate this is the first of many to come".
It's the first time a major USA sports league has a business-to-business deal with a sportsbook provider and could open a path for other leagues to make similar arrangements.