The NHL became the latest sports league to enter into an official sports betting partnership deal on Monday. Commissioner Gary Bettman held a press conference in New York City to announce that the league has agreed to a multi-year deal with MGM Resorts, which now becomes the official gaming and resort destination partner of the NHL.
As part of the deal, MGM gets access to the league's intellectual property (such as team logos and other branding materials) as well as advanced game data recorded by the NHL. The partnership is not exclusive, meaning that the NHL is free to shop and sell that data to other sports books as well.
One of the most intriguing (and valuable) aspects of that league-compiled data may be player and puck tracking information. The league has been developing tracking systems over the past few years and it is expected to be implemented at full scale starting next season. The league will provide MGM with real-time player tracking data, which will allow the sports book to offer "new and innovative interactive fan engagement and betting opportunities."
The official terms of the deal are unknown at this point in time, but it was clearly stated that the league will not be getting a cut of MGM's gambling profits as part of the agreement. However, the league will apparently have a say on what gamblers can bet on.
A really curious statement from Bettman on the MGM deal, that requires a followup: “We have the ability to have input on what’s being bet on.”— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) October 29, 2018
The NBA reached a similar deal with MGM Resorts back in July, becoming the first major North American pro league to reach such an agreement. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, that deal is thought to be worth around $25M over three years.
Such league deals were made possible by the historic Supreme Court ruling in May which legalized sports betting on a federal level, paving the way for individual states to open sportsbooks. Six states (Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico and West Virginia) have already legalized sports betting, with that number expecting to rise in the coming months and years.