Over the past few months, we have seen a mad dash of professional sports leagues aligning themselves with partners to aid in safe sports betting.
The latest league to get hitched? The National Basketball Association. On Wednesday, the NBA announced that it is partnering with Genius Sports and Sportradar to distribute its data to sports-gambling outlets in the U.S.
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“As the sports betting landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, these new partnerships will provide robust and reliable data to ensure the best possible gaming experience for our fans in the U.S.,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, as reported by The Associated Press.
Scott Kaufman-Ross, the NBA’s vice president and head of fantasy and gaming, said the sports-betting landscape being regulated also makes the league feel better about its projections in the booming space.
“We’re going to have better results in a regulated market than an unregulated market,” Kaufman-Ross said, as reported by the AP.
The NBA announcing its partnership with Sportradar and Genius Sports came a day after Major League Baseball announced its own partnership with MGM Resorts. And that followed MGM having already reached similar partnership deals with the NHL and WNBA.
The MLB’s multi-year agreement deal makes MGM Resorts the first-ever official gaming partner of the MLB, authorizing the company to domestically promote gaming options across MLB’s platforms, including MLB.com and the MLB Network.
The irony of this race between professional sports leagues reaching partnerships to aid in sports betting is these same leagues didn’t want anything to do with gambling in the past.
Of course, New Jersey winning a U.S. Supreme Court case in May, paving the way for other states to introduce legal sports betting, contributed to this mad dash. And if anything, the pro sports leagues hustling to align themselves with betting partners seemingly coincides with more and more states legalizing sports betting.
That, and the additional revenue that each sports league could stand to earn by working within the legalized sports gambling landscape is as dizzying as each state’s revenue thus far.
New Jersey sports gambling operators took in upwards of $260 million in wagers, earning revenue of more than $11.6 million for October alone.
Now, just imagine how much each sports league will be able to produce from this booming sector.