NBA Secure First Sports Betting Deal: Others to Follow?

by: The Knowledge Group

August 07, 2018


Much has been made of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports gambling in the United States.  NBA commissioner Adam Silver has advocated for the legalization of basketball betting for years.  Silver’s day has finally arrived: the NBA recently announced a partnership with MGM Resorts for digital sports gambling.

Sports Historians of the Future Will Credit NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as a True Trailblazer


Silver deserves credit for spearheading the push for the legalization of sports gambling.  The NBA’s agreement with MGM Resorts does not provide the league with a direct cut of basketball gambling proceeds yet the arrangement proves mutually beneficial to both groups.  The NBA will receive much more exposure as basketball gambling goes mainstream with the assistance of sports books owned by the likes of MGM.  MGM benefits through the NBA’s promotion of its resorts and services across the league’s array of digital platforms.  MGM will also be provided with league data such as official game statistics that will ultimately facilitate wagering.  In particular, this nuanced information will make it that much easier for fans to participate in live in-game wagering.

Details About the NBA’s Deal With MGM


The NBA’s partnership with MGM is important as it is the first-ever deal between a casino and a sports league based in North America.  It is quite interesting to note the NBA backed down from its initial demand for an integrity fee.  This fee would have been a small portion (about 1%) of casinos’ sports gambling revenue.  The NBA-MGM partnership also includes WNBA wagering and official game statistics.  NBA commissioner Adam Silver insists the use of such accurate and instantaneous data will improve the integrity of the sport.  Look for a domino effect to occur in the months and years to follow: alliances between sports leagues and casinos will become commonplace, spiking franchise values and even spurring an increase in player salaries.  The heads of players’ unions will argue the increase in revenue from the legalization of sports gambling should prompt a salary cap increase and consequential increase in player compensation.

Look for Professional Sports Leagues to Follow in the NBA’s Footsteps


It will not be long until the NFL, NHL & MLB strike agreements with MGM and other casinos.  Though NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been critical of efforts to legalize football gambling, he is well aware of the fact that there is plenty of money to be made through partnerships with casinos and sports book owners.  The four major sports leagues might not ever receive a cut of sports gambling proceeds yet agreements with the likes of MGM will increase viewership, fanaticism and most importantly, the bottom line.

Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in sports betting all whilst earning Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.  We hope you can join us for our August 30th event where we discuss this topic, the full registration information can be found by clicking here.