David Williams | 02 Aug 2018
MGM Resorts has just entered a multiyear agreement with the National Basketball Association of North America. The announcement was made on Tuesday 31 July, and establishes the casino company as the NBA and WNBA official gaming partner.
A recent press release jointly authored by both organisations, describes the alliance as historic. This is the first time the National Basketball Association has partnered with a United States sports betting operator. The affiliation with a major professional sports league is also a first for MGM Resorts. Branding from the men’s and women’s associations will be used in the group’s properties across the country on a non-exclusive basis.
The collaboration is expected to unite fans and guests, presenting new opportunities for them to engage with products and services that they have not experienced before. Those who frequent the resorts will gain a new appreciation for Basketball, while NBA and WNBA devotees will discover that betting on the games brings another way to enjoy them.
The May 2018 decision by the Supreme Court, ruling that states could legalize bookmaking, broke up the monopoly on the practice that Nevada was holding. This presents new opportunities for operators, and the deal with the Basketball Association is part of the MGM Resorts strategy to capitalize on this as much as possible.
As Adam Silver, Commissioner for the NBA, explained, the landscape for sports betting across the United States is evolving very rapidly. Leagues and bookmakers need to keep up, and forming sponsorships and agreements is an innovative way to do it.
The benefits are already being seen. Just hours after the partnership announcement was made, MGM Resorts shares closed 2% higher. Silver also said the new deal will allow for more in-game wagers, which account for 80% or more of the staking action outside of the USA. Now bettors inside the country will have more opportunities to put money down on events as they unfold, which can be very engaging.
The number of points a certain player will score in a quarter, for example, can be heavily influenced by something like rebounds. Predicting the outcome in such a case is a lot easier and more dynamic when you can do it as the game is actually taking place. Betting strategies can also be adjusted in real time, to maximize wins or minimize losses.