MGM Becomes Official Sports Betting Sponsor Of The NBA

MGM Becomes Official Sports Betting Sponsor Of The NBA

On Tuesday, Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement announcing that MGM International Resorts is the official betting sponsor of the professional basketball league.

"As the landscape for sports betting in the U.S. continues to evolve at a rapid pace, MGM Resorts is a proven gaming leader for us to work with on this groundbreaking partnership," said Silver. "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."

You may recall that "integrity" was a word used consistently throughout Murphy vs. NCAA, with the sports leagues arguing that widespread sports gambling would have a negative impact.

While the league and its sports betting lobbying partners have requested an "integrity fee" as part of their model legislation in several states, there is no such fee in their deal with MGM, according to Silver.

Instead, compensation in the partnership was based on the value that the NBA placed on its real-time gaming data. Though officials have not disclosed exact figures, ESPN reported that it is a three-year deal worth $25 million. Under the agreement, MGM and all of its casinos will have access to official NBA and WNBA data for the most accurate statistics.

The requirement that states use gaming data provided by the leagues was one of the provisions that the NBA and other leagues lobbied for on a state level, making this deal even more of a win for the NBA.

"Integrating the NBA's assets and having official NBA data showcased across the MGM Resorts platforms will provide us with a distinct advantage and instill more confidence in knowing that our data is directly from the NBA," stated MGM Resorts International Chairman & CEO Jim Murren.

MGM Resorts also gained rights to use official NBA and WNBA logos and branding across all of their land-based, online, and mobile sports betting platforms - a first for any U.S. casino. MGM has properties in several states that either have or will have sports betting in the future, including Nevada, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey and Mississippi.

The partnership, however, is not entirely exclusive. Though MGM Resorts is the official betting partner of the NBA, the league can still sell its data to other casino operators. The long-term goal is for more operators to agree to similar partnerships without the "official sponsor" designation in order to keep the market competitive.

"There's a common interest in the entire industry in ensuring that there be an experience that's one of integrity for all sports bettors regardless of what operator they happen to be doing business with," stated Silver. "He (Jim) actually should be rooting for his competitors to do deals or else he could be at a competitive disadvantage due to a higher price structure."

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