The NBA announces first sports betting deal, names MGM Resorts its official gaming partner

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty ImagesNBA commissioner Adam Silver has overseen the league’s foray into legalised betting.
  • The NBA has come to a partnership over sports betting with MGM Resorts following a Supreme Court decision which struck down a federal ban on gambling.
  • The league will not get a direct cut of the action, but has instead agreed to promote MGM Resorts across its digital platforms.
  • MGM, in turn, gets access to league data which could be used for in-game betting.

The NBA announced on Tuesday that it has come become a sports betting partner with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas. This announcement comes not long after a Supreme Court decision which paved the way for legalised gambling in states.

This is the first official deal between a North American sports league and a casino.

Under the terms of the deal, the MGM Resorts will have access to official NBA and WNBA branding, including official game statistics, which the casinos could use for live in-game betting. The NBA will also promote MGM Resorts across its digital platforms.

The NBA had originally stated they wanted an “integrity fee,” which basically amounted to a cut of the casino’s winnings. That is not part of the deal.

“Our collaboration will result in the best possible gaming and entertainment experience for consumers through the use of accurate, real-time NBA and WNBA data, and our collective efforts to maintain and enhance the integrity of our games,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a league statement.

Legalised betting is an untapped frontier of revenue for sports teams. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said following the Supreme Court’s decision that owners of a top-four North American sports teams saw their franchises value double.

This move will also have ramifications on the hardwood court as well. Matt Moore, an NBA writer for the Action Network,noted on Twitter that this will lead to a bump in the salary cap, albeit a small one.

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