Last updated on: July 23rd, 2023

NHL’s Thoughts On Legal Sports Betting

The NHL was not on board with legal sports betting when it expanded in 2018. Sources close to the league said they felt hockey wasn’t a sport where gambling had a place. But over the years, the NHL has opened their mindset to legal sports betting, after seeing multiple professional sports organizations involve themselves with sports betting. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman decided to allow the NHL to become involved, and now the league and teams in the NHL can make sports betting deals.

NHL Sports Betting

What Is The NHL’s Position On Legal Sports Betting?

While the acceptance of advertising for legal NHL sportsbooks grew slow at first, the league has made up for the lost time. The NHL made a multi-year partnership deal with MGM, landing them as the official gaming partner of the NHL.

“As a leading global gaming operator and entertainment company, MGM Resorts is the perfect partner for us to begin our transformative entry into this space,” said Bettman. “Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do.”

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How Will Legal Sports Betting Benefit The NHL?

Legal NHL betting will continue to be integrated more into the league. Even though hockey is not as popular a betting draw as football and basketball, it is still wagered on every day at online and land-based sportsbooks. If the NHL decides to allow the sports bettors to wager on the games from the arena, they will see massive profits. The arenas would receive a percentage from the sports betting revenue and they will be able to increase fan engagement. Betting on the NHL could become a regular thing at the games, elevating the status of the league in the long run. Right now fans are already betting on their favorite NHL teams, so it only makes sense that the NHL should embrace it and profit themselves.

Did The NHL’s Expansion Into Las Vegas Affect Its Stance On Legal Sports Betting?

One would have to assume that the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights helped to have the league crossover into legal sports betting. It was inevitable to accept gambling on the game when you have a team set right in the middle of the gambling mecca of the country. In fact, it was the Golden Knights that were the first team in the NHL to make a deal with a sportsbook operator, pulling the NHL to the side of accepting legal sports betting. In September 2018, the Knights partnered with esteemed sportsbook company William Hill.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to engage different segments of our fan base and provide a unique fan experience,” said Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz. “Like the Vegas Golden Knights, William Hill US is a proud ‘Vegas Born’ organization. This partnership between a major professional team and a sports book operator is a historic, landmark agreement and we are delighted to be leading the way with William Hill in this space.”

This agreement took place for the Golden Knights’ during their second season as a team. In their very first season, they were able to make it all the way to the Stanley Cup, which allowed for a ton of bets to be had before they partnered with a sportsbook the following season. Their team success along with its general location is what catapulted the NHL’s decision to allow legal sports betting as quickly as they did.

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What’s On The NHL’s (Sport)Radar For Legal Sports Betting?

The NHL’s legal sports betting future will stand to grow as teams take on endorsements and partnerships with sportsbooks even more. The NHL as a whole has their own sportsbook in MGM as the Official Gaming Partner NHL but every team and arena has to abide by state sports betting laws. Such partnerships increase the profits, as well as the fanbase growth, making it reason enough to allow sportsbooks within NHL franchises. Watching an NHL sports betting TV station is seeing light as it boosts viewers to engage in legal hockey betting.

NHL Sports Betting Sponsors

The NHL has embraced sports betting in a major way, partnering with some of the biggest legal online sportsbooks in the US. Many popular sports betting operations have garnered deals with the NHL for promotional and data analysis functions. The NHL has partnered with the likes of PointsBet for example, which is a multi-year deal that will have NHL data directly accessible by the sports betting operation which allows their odds to be more accurate. PointsBet also has access to the NHL’s marks and official logos. Some individual NHL teams like the Detroit Red Wings also have partnered with sportsbooks for similar deals. This is an example of how sports and sports betting has combined to become a natural entity. Betting on the NHL is improved thanks to these sponsorships.

Team Sportsbook Partnerships
Arizona Coyotes Sahara Bets
Boston Bruins DraftKings Sportsbook
Buffalo Sabres Fanduel Sportsbook
Chicago Blackhawks Fanduel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook
Colorado Avalanche DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet
Detroit Red Wings DraftKings Sportsbook, Fanduel Sportsbook, PointsBet
Los Angeles Kings DraftKings Sportsbook
Nashville Predators Bally Bet, DraftKings Sportsbook
New Jersey Devils Betway, Caesars Sportsbook, Fanduel Sportsbook, PlayUp Sportsbook, Unibet
New York Rangers Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook
Philadelphia Flyers Betway, Play SugarHouse Sportsbook
Pittsburgh Penguins BetRivers
St. Louis Blues DraftKings Sportsbook
Tampa Bay Lightning Hard Rock Sportsbook
Vegas Golden Knights Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET
Washington Capitals Caesars Sportsbook

NHL’s Stance On Evander Kane’s Betting Scandal

During the 2021 NHL season, San Jose Sharks left winger, Evander Kane, had allegations against him for betting on NHL games in which he denied. Kane was open about his gambling problem during the investigation, however, in the end, the NHL found no evidence of any trails that led to Kane betting on any games that season. Kane stated that they were fake allegations made by his ex-wife.

NHL Arenas With Sportsbooks

The first NHL arena to add a sportsbook was Capital One Arena, which partnered with William Hill Sportsbook back in May of 2021. Capital One Arena, home to the Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards, was the first stadium to partner with a sportsbook out of all the major professional sports leagues in the United States. The United Center, home to the Chicago Blackhawks, was the second NHL venue to announce a brick-and-mortar sportsbook back in January of 2022 when they partnered with Fanduel Sportsbook.