NEW YORK – The NHL announced a multiyear agreement Monday to provide MGM Resorts International with data for use in betting, the second major U.S. professional sports league to strike a deal with the casino giant since the Supreme Court opened the way for expanded gambling last spring.
Las Vegas-based MGM is the league’s first official sports betting partner, just as it is with the NBA and WNBA. That deal was reached in July.
As part of the agreement, MGM gains access to proprietary NHL data that could eventually include puck and player tracking information once that goes through a testing phase. Access to that data will allow MGM to provide customized game details along with betting opportunities for U.S. customers where gambling is legally available.
The data will not be exclusive to MGM. The NHL is not getting a cut of gambling profits, but other terms were not disclosed.
“The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our league,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do.”
MGM and other casino operators are moving aggressively to capitalize on the U.S. sports betting market, which is expanding after the Supreme Court ruled in May that states could take sports bets if they wanted. MGM has made a series of significant moves, including the multiyear deal with the NBA and WNBA.
Bettman and MGM Resorts chairman and CEO Jim Murren said the NHL’s agreement differs from that with the NBA.
“I’m led to believe by Jim that our deal is more encompassing and includes basic sponsorship that we have together,” Bettman said.
The deal will include promotions during the league’s marquee events, including the Stanley Cup playoffs, the All-Star Game and the Winter Classic.
“We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this historic partnership with the NHL,” Murren said.