In 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was invalidated, opening the floodgates and triggering a gambling gold rush in the richest country in the world. For years, sports betting had been frowned upon and limited to casinos in cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. But as soon as this act was abolished, new opportunities and new possibilities arose.
PASPA essentially made it impossible for states outside of Nevada to set their own laws regarding sports betting and online/mobile betting. Just 18 months after the act was invalidated, 13 states had legalized these activities and a further 6 had passed bills to push legalization through. As of 2020, it’s looking like at least 30 states will have some form of legal sports betting within the next year or two.
To profit from these new laws, the biggest and most advanced casino websites, software providers and gambling companies in the world are storming the US market in a bid to sign deals with many of the big US sports leagues, which are now open for big business. So now all the great benefits that casinos offer online, can be provided by the big leagues as well. This is an exciting time to be an investor in a global casino and sports betting company and it’s also a very prosperous time for the country’s biggest leagues.
Here are just a few of the big deals that have taken place:
NBA and MGM
MGM Resorts International became the first brand to sign an official deal with the NBA in the summer of 2018. This deal had been in the works for some time, with representatives from the NBA demanding a huge 1% of all bets, an amount that would equate to around a quarter of MGM Resorts’ revenue. But as soon as the landscape changed, they were forced to lower their demands.
MGM Resorts was soon followed by BetEasy, Tabcorp, Unibet, the Stars Group, Supermatch, TheScore, and DraftKings, all of which have now signed on the dotted line to become official partners of the NBA. These brands will be given access to official data of all NBA games. This data will be streamed in real-time and allow them to create a host of detailed betting markets, along with updated scores, and everything else needed for a comprehensive book.
DraftKings and The Stars Group
Two of the aforementioned sponsors, DraftKings and The Stars Group, have made significant moves elsewhere in the US sports betting sector. DraftKings created its very own sportsbook and in January 2020, that sports book took nearly $60 million work of wagers. It is also planning a $3.3 billion merger with top gaming tech companies, setting the stage for DraftKings to become one of the biggest names in US betting.
As for The Stars Group, the brand behind BetStars and PokerStars, it worked on the FOX Bet brand, which is now a major sponsor of MLB and operates a huge sports betting business in several states.
In fact, in February 2020, it was reported that The Stars Group had seen a $500 million revenue growth, even though online poker is experiencing a bit of a downturn right now, suggesting that there are greener pastures in sports betting.
NHL, MLB, and Many Big Brands
The NHL and MLB were quick to partner with major sports betting brands. In addition to FOXBet and DraftKings, MLB also signed on with MGM Resorts and FanDuel. Keen to complete a full set, MGM Resorts and FanDuel also signed a partnership with NHL, joining William Hill and SportRadar in the process.
These deals don’t mean only these brands can offer bets on the aforementioned leagues. The ability to bet on MLB games, as well as many other Sports betting types is legal across many states now and in all of these, casinos and other licensed premises can run books on the biggest leagues and events (with exceptions for high school and college sports).
An official partnership simply means these brands will be used on official advertising and will be seen emblazoned across league insignia and used at games, on TV broadcasts, and anywhere else the leagues are promoted. It also gives the brands access to live streamed data, which means they’ll be the preferred choice with stat-loving punters seeking an all-inclusive gambling experience.
NFL, Caesars, and…?
In early 2019, Caesars Entertainment Corporation was announced as the first-ever official casino sponsor of the NFL. This came after several other major leagues had closed deals and it brought together two of America’s biggest brands.
It was a no-brainer for Caesars, as the brand had already secured deals with several of the league’s biggest teams, including the Falcons, Saints, and Ravens.
However, the NFL has yet to sign an official sports betting partner. Experts predict that as many as 15% of adults will bet on the NFL during any given season, which is a greater percentage than any other league. But the NFL has yet to take advantage of that unique market position.
It does have an official daily fantasy sports partner and in Caesars, it has its casino partner, but in this gambling gold rush, the NFL remains the last unearthed nugget.
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