Some major rumors have been going around the web, about a specific US sports industry signing a controversial sponsorship deal with a betting operator.
Well, those rumors were confirmed by an article on CasinoCrunch website, where they documented the whole ordeal. It turned out that the sports industry turned out to be the NHL, which signed a betting sponsorship deal with MGM Resorts, the betting operator.
This isn’t the first deal that MGM has made, as it did the same thing with the NBA last month, trying to increase its revenue through affiliation with the most watched sports in the country. Although there were differences in the names of the partnership, one being “betting partner” and another “official gaming partner”, the deals were able to go through.
What does the deal do for the NHL
First of all, it needs to emphasized that the deal is not a buyout of a team. It’s just a sponsorship deal, something that MGM has been doing recently in Vegas, which we will get to later. But what does the deal do for the NHL? What value do they gain from it?
First things first, it’s a sponsorship which will better help fund the teams’ maintenance. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be numerous other benefits that will be coming to the NHL, a small hint is the activities MGM has been doing with the Vegas Golden Knights, where it provides a playing field for the team, a project they developed with $700 million investment.
For MGM, however, they’ll be getting a big boost to their revenues thanks to the millions of viewers that the NHL gets every month. The deal will continue for several years and will entitle the betting operator to the teams’ logos and names, which it can feature on its platform.
Thanks to the rule-out of the 1992 Amateur Sports Protection Act, states now have more freedom in deciding the regulations that are connected to sports betting and gambling. This was something to be happy about as MGM can now easily convince the state governments that the sports industry deserves a good betting industry to back it up. Plus the extra cash in taxes will definitely not hurt.
Is everybody OK with this?
You’d think that such a serious advance for the NHL would warrant some kind of protest from its fans or managers right? Well, you’d be technically right (which is the best kind of right) if we consider the way high authority people of the league looked at sports betting in the past.
The biggest opposition of incorporating betting in NHL was the chairman himself Gary Bettman. Bettman would always repeat the same arguments in order to combat consecutive advances from the betting industry. Saying that the NHL is not about gambling and it’s not something they want the sport to be associated with. You would agree with him at the start as the more money is pumped into the industry, the more it becomes susceptible to corruption.
But it looks like the deal from MGM managed to sway the mind of Bettman, and turned him into a staunch supporter of the deal. In his words, the deal is already there and it would be foolish to pass up the opportunity, he also added that it would be a great implementation of more interaction with the fans and sparking more interest to watch and learn about the sport.