The new norm appears to be lucrative contracts between professional sports leagues/teams and prominent casino and sportsbook operators.
In the early days of legal sports betting, a number of such partnerships have materialized. The catalyst being the demise of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act by the US Supreme Court in May 2018.
Here are the partnerships that have been announced so far:
|League/Team||Casino/sports betting partner|
|MLB||MGM Resorts, FanDuel, DraftKings, Fox Bet|
|NBA||MGM Resorts, Fox Bet, FanDuel, William Hill|
|NHL||MGM Resorts, FanDuel, William Hill|
|New York Jets (NFL)||MGM Resorts, 888 Casino|
|Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)||Caesars|
|Vegas Golden Knights (NHL)||William Hill|
|New Jersey Devils (NHL)||William Hill, Caesars, FanDuel|
|Dallas Cowboys (NFL)||WinStar Casino|
|Baltimore Ravens (NFL)||Horseshoe Baltimore (Caesars)|
National Basketball Association
MGM Resorts International became the first casino operator to partner directly with the NBA. The deal is reportedly for three years and $25 million.
Caesars Entertainment has an individual deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Details of the partnership are scarce but it will allow for cross-promotion, both on-site and across social media platforms inside the Wells Fargo Center.
Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), France’s national lottery operator, struck a multi-year partnership with the NBA. The deal allows FDJ to use official league data, branding across land-based and digital platforms and establish best practices to protect the integrity of NBA games.
BetStars becomes the second sports betting operator to announce a partnership with the NBA. The BetStars NBA deal brands the operator as an “official gaming partner.” The Stars Group (the Canadian-based parent company of BetStars) will have the right to use official NBA betting data across all digital platforms including PokerStars.
The NBA secured FanDuel Group as its third “official gaming partner.” Financials of the deal are scarce but it gives FanDuel access to “official NBA betting data” and league marks and logos across all FanDuel sports betting platforms.
National Hockey League
Much like its NBA deal, MGM partnered with the NHL to become the league’s official gaming partner.
Both the New Jersey Devils and Vegas Golden Knights struck deals with sports betting operator William Hill. The Golden Knights deal allows fans of legal betting age to “engage through various media, advertising and promotional platforms.”
William Hill’s deal with the Devils will allow for a physical sports lounge inside the Prudential Center, where the Devils play their home games. Although not an actual sportsbook, the lounge has the feel of one.
Thereafter, William Hill also secured a league-level partnership with the NHL itself.
Caesars also has an individual deal with the New Jersey Devils which will allow for the company’s branding to appear on 80 digital boards, club level tickets, promotional wristbands and much more.
FanDuel and the NHL agreed to a multi-year deal. FanDuel will become the official daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports betting partner of the NHL through its FanDuel Sportsbook.
Additionally, the DFS turned sportsbook operator, inked a deal with the New Jersey Devils that involved more branding exposure. FanDuel’s logo will be embedded in the ice at the Prudential Center and will also integrate its brand across social media and other digital platforms.
National Football League
The Dallas Cowboys were the first NFL team to branch out, inking a deal with WinStar Casino in Oklahoma. The casino will be entitled to use Dallas Cowboys logos and marks as part of their own promotions.
Similarly, the Baltimore Ravens locked in a deal with Caesars and its Horseshoe Baltimore property. For the time being, the partnership has nothing to do with sports betting. The multi-year agreement is non-exclusive, as the team is apparently still shopping for additional partners.
MGM became the “official gaming partner” of the New York Jets, who have an additional deal with 888 Casino (which operates the 888 NJ Sportsbook.)
The soon to be Las Vegas Raiders also signed a deal with Caesars, who will become a founding partner in Las Vegas Stadium where the Raiders will play beginning in 2020. However, the deal does not include naming rights to the $1.8 billion stadium.
Major League Baseball
MGM is now the “official gaming partner” of MLB. The deal includes access to league logos and official data for use in sports betting operations. MGM will be the only sportsbook operator with access to certain “enhanced statistics.”
Many teams have deals with DraftKings for daily fantasy sports, but they do not directly promote DraftKings Sportsbook in NJ.