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What you need to know about the NBA

The NBA announced a deal on Tuesday that will make MGM the league’s official gaming partner.

It’s the first time a major U.S. sports league has a business-to-business deal with a sportsbook provider and could open a path for other leagues to make similar arrangements.

For now, the NBA is the first and only American sports league to team up with a sportsbook operator.


What did MGM get?

MGM gets the rights to NBA league and team logos, highlights, access to the official league data feed and the tag of being the “official gaming partner” of the NBA and WNBA.

What’s in it for the NBA?

The deal, according to sources, is believed to be $25 million over three years. That’s small change for the NBA. The value, though, may come through the creation of a market for their direct data feed. Now that MGM has signed up, other competitors have a decision to make: Is the access to data that the NBA is offering worth it?

What is the advantage of having the NBA’s direct data feed?

There are varying opinions on how valuable the NBA’s direct feed really is for the bookmaking business. Nevada sportsbooks aren’t using the NBA’s feed now and don’t seem to be running into any issues. However, the NBA believes the reliability and speed of the feed will become increasingly valuable in the future, especially for in-game betting, which is expected to take off in the U.S.

Will you be able to bet on the NBA at non-MGM sportsbooks?

Yes. The only thing that is exclusive about the deal is that MGM now has the right to market itself as the official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA.

What states are offering legal sports betting now?

Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and, beginning Wednesday, Mississippi.

Which of those states have MGM sportsbooks?


Mississippi, Nevada and New Jersey.

Can I bet on my phone in an NBA arena?

Of course. You’ve been able to do that through offshore bookmakers for a decade. Betting on your phone with a bookmaker licensed in the U.S. is a different story. The only state that mobile betting is currently offered is in Nevada, but New Jersey is expected to be up and running soon. There are no NBA teams in Nevada or New Jersey, though, so unless New York or Pennsylvania ramp up their efforts to allow legal mobile betting, it’s going to be another year before you can bet with a U.S. bookmaker on your phone in an NBA arena. That will change as sports betting expands into other states.

What will look different at the sportsbook after the deal?

Not much. MGM books — and any other that partner with the NBA — will be allowed to use league and team logos on their oddsboards, something never seen in Las Vegas.

Will there be different bets on the NBA at MGM books?

Unlikely. Types of bets are determined by gaming regulations, not deals with sports leagues.

Will the NFL and other leagues do similar deals?

Only time will tell. Joe Asher, CEO of sportsbook operator William Hill U.S., said at a recent gaming conference that his company was fielding calls nearly daily from teams looking to do sponsorship deals.

Are there official betting partners of sports leagues in countries where sports betting is already legal?

Yes. In Australia, for example, Crownbet is the official wagering partner of the Australian Football League.

Does this mean that we will see MGM logos on NBA uniforms this season?

Gambling companies were banned from being NBA jersey sponsors, but things change.


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