• Sara Slane previously served as Senior Vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association before leaving to create her own advisory firm.
  • There are nine out of 31 NHL teams located in a state with legal sports betting.
  • The NHL previously signed a deal with MGM Resorts as part of the league’s first ever sports betting partnership.

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League is looking to take its sports betting strategies to the next level, but not without a little expert guidance. Earlier this week the NHL announced that it had hired Sara Slane of Slane Advisory to help capitalize on the growing US sports betting market.

Slane previously held the role of Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Gaming Association but left the organization to start her own advisory firm. Slane was instrumental in the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the former federal ban on sports betting.

According to CDC Gaming Reports, her new firm will not only help the league as a whole, but also it’s 31 teams in cultivating new sports wagering partnerships, developing sports betting strategies, and help with gaming legislation.

“Our new partnership with Slane Advisory is another example of our commitment to working collaboratively with the sports betting industry and developing a best-in-class approach to partnerships,” said Keith Wachtel, NHL Chief Business Officer.

As of now, nine of the 31 teams in the NHL are located in a state that has legal sports wagering. That number could grow to 10 if and when North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signs a bill that has been sent to his office.

“The opportunity is only there for one-third of our clubs right now,” said Wachtel.

“It’s exciting to talk about, but the scale is not there yet. That’s why we’re bringing on Sara. We need someone who understands the business and can help us and help out teams in creating partnerships and evaluating the space.”

The legal sports betting landscape could continue to grow this year. A Michigan sports betting bill is poised to be introduced in the coming months and sports betting in Colorado will be put on the ballot this November for voters in the state to decide.

This would open the door for the widely popular Detroit Redwings and for the Colorado Avalanche to pursue sports betting partnerships of their own.

Previous NHL Sports Betting Partnerships

The NHL has not been shy in its embrace of the legal sports betting market.

Back in October of 2018, the NHL announced MGM Resorts International as the leagues official gaming partner. The deal gave MGM the ability to use NHL trademarks inside of their sportsbook facilities as well as use of official league data for their in-game betting platforms.

Since that deal occurred, the NHL has also signed deals with sports betting providers William Hill US and FanDuel. The Las Vegas Golden Knights, as well as the New Jersey Devils, also signed a deal with William Hill US.

The rapid expansion of these companies in states with legal sports betting has become quite common since the repeal of PASPA. With many more states expected to consider legalizing the practice next year, the NHL’s partnership with the Slane Advisory should help to navigate through a constantly growing industry.

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