The NBA is now the first major sports league in the U.S. to officially partner with a sportsbook operator after partnering with MGM Resorts. They are the largest casino operators in the world and will be the official and exclusive gaming partners of the NBA and WNBA. Both the details and the value of the partnership have not been disclosed. The partnership grants MGM the right to use the league’s highlights, logos and a direct basketball data feed from the NBA.
Sports betting is not legal in all states, but it has been gaining ground as a means for the local governments to generate revenue via taxation. The NBA will be compensated for the use of its intellectual property.
“Those operators who create the best experience for consumers that have official data, that have the official imprimatur of our league and other leagues as well, are going to be those that win in the hearts and minds of consumers,” Silver said during an afternoon news conference in New York City to announce the partnership.
Jim Murren, CEO of MGM, sitting side by side with Silver, called the deal “historic.”
“The foremost mission is to maintain and preserve the integrity of the game, the fan experience for the NBA fans, [and] in fact help catapult further the global presence of the NBA,” Murren said. “As a global entertainment company, I feel MGM has an opportunity to partner with the NBA to do that.”
As more and more states legalize sports betting, the implied value of this blockbuster contract will slowly come to fruition for both sides.