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NHL Signs a Multi-Year Partnership with MGM Resorts International

- October 31, 2018 By Oliver Young -

The National Hockey League strikes a sports betting partnership with the gambling industry’s giant MGM Resorts International. The partnership was announced earlier this week will give MGM an access to NHL database and will enable MGM to use NHL team trademarks in its marketing. The revenue gained with this deal will be shared 50/50.

National Hockey League makes MGM Resorts International the league’s official gaming partner.

National Hockey League makes MGM Resorts International the league’s official gaming partner.

The Importance of the Partnership

Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner, and Jim Murren, MGM’s CEO signed a multi-year deal, where MGM will be considered as the official resort destination for the teams in the NHL and will be the official gaming partner of the league.

Although the deal is non-exclusive and will allow MGM to strike deals with other leagues as well, will merge NHL’s fan database with MGM’s rewards program Mlife which will enable cross-marketing offers to both MGM and NHL fans.

The deal is highly important because it shows that the world is changing, as confirmed by Bettman, who was among the chief proponents of blocking the sports betting and gambling in New Jersey. He admits that wagering should be embraced now in order to provide a medium for better connectivity to the game and more fan engagement.

The Financial Details of the Deal

As mentioned, the revenue that will be generated with the MGM-NHL deal will be shared 50/50. NHL, due to the non-exclusive nature of the deal, will get no share of anything operated by MGM nor any of its future league partners.

Bettman said that, in terms of growing the NHL fan base, the impact of the deal will be indirect, but in all positive. He also said that they hadplans for building wagering kiosks at NHL’s segregated areas of the arenas. However, following the building of sports lounge by William Hill at the New Jersey Devil’s Prudential Centerin New Jersey, where gambling is legal and the wagering is allowed via William Hill’s betting app, Bettman says that building wagering venues would be irrelevant since mobile wagering is allowed in many NHL teams’ home states.

As for integrity fees from legal gambling, Bettman says that the NHL has never pursued those, neither will now. He has total confidence in the integrity of the games based on the monitoring of legal wagering of NHL’s products through third-party resources.

Data as the Key Element of the Partnership

Bettman announced that NHL plans to incorporate the real-time data by the start of next year’s season, to which MGM will have access to. The project for the data development was started even before the Supreme Court’s decision. The prime aim of the project was to provide NHL’s broadcast partners with additional content that will help them draw more attention and attract more viewers.

On the other hand, Murren said that this real-time, endorsed and trusted player data was the key element to the deal with NHL, since it is the only thing that real bettors will accept to place their wagers on. The data will allow players to build their own brands, Murren added, and give their fans a greater connection with their favorite players.

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