- The Bruins are leading 2-1 against the Blues, with homecourt advantage on their side.
- Betting in certain approved stadiums will be launching for the next NHL season.
- The NHL will be soon receiving a cut of the action, as two states have included language about official data usage.
SAINT LOUIS – After losing in Game 2 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals, the Boston Bruins have taken control again. A Game 3 victory on the road put them up a game in the series and could make that 2 – only 1 win away from the coveted trophy – with a win on Monday.
While the NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, is excited about how the playoffs have turned out with its early upsets and consistent television ratings, Bettman is also excited about the progress the league has made with regards to legal sports betting.
“If you’re interested in sports betting, you’re going to have an increased opportunity to engage with the game. If you’re not interested, it shouldn’t impact the way you consume the game,” said Bettman. “Our hope is it causes more people to watch more games.”
The NHL has partnered with three different sports betting companies including MGM Resorts, William Hill, and FanDuel.
With these connections and the expansion team, the Las Vegas Knights, entering Sin City, Bettman has been told that the hockey betting handle in Nevada has increased 224% since 2017.
Throughout the eight states with currently-operating legal sports betting industries in the country, none of them offer a kickback, or “integrity fee”, to the NHL. However, Bettman expects this to change, as state states like Tennessee and Illinois include language in their approved measures about the league’s receiving a cut.
“The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for the NHL, especially as it relates to fan engagement and utilizing technology and data that are proprietary to our league,” said Bettman.
To use official league data, the sportsbooks will have to pursue an agreement with the league or a contracted supplier of the book. While many people think this is a step in the right direction, others see it is a possibility for integrity issues to open up in the league.
Bettman has negated any critic of the use of official data, stating not only that the league will make its money but also that it keeps everything in the open and not in the dark with offshore sports betting sites.
“We haven’t had an integrity problem,” said Bettman. “The fact that it’s now legal shouldn’t mean we have an integrity problem.”
This was an issue brought forward in the ICE VOX North America Summit last month. League administrators went over the main talking points, which included state-by-state legislation, fan engagement, and, of course, data requirements.
The ability for stadiums to offer sports betting also arose. While Bettman puts the guarantee that no franchise or owner will be able to manage the book, the venues will still be able to host the operations.
Expansion is set at New Jersey’s Prudential Center, which is home to the New Jersey Devils. William Hill has plans in place to offer a parlor to place wagers in the venue and the idea has made its way down to Washington as well.
“We have seen a phenomenal reaction from our fans,” said Bettman, in regards to allowing participants (and passerby’s) the ability to wager at the stadium.
However, not everyone needs to be at the stadium to wager. Only the keen eyes saw the possibility in the Blues winning the 2019 Stanley Cup, as they were in last place in early January.
At a William Hill location in Las Vegas, one bettor named Scott Berry dropped $400 on 250-1 odds for the Blues to hoist the trophy at the season’s conclusion.
Boston (-120) is favored in the game and has never lost a road playoff game to St. Louis.
The puck drops at 8 PM EST on Monday but many will be dropping bets all night, until the last goal horn is sounded.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.