NHL’s Thoughts On Legal Sports Betting
The NHL was not on board with legal sports betting when it first became legalized in 2018. Not that there was anything wrong with the hobby but sources close to the league said they felt hockey wasn’t a sport where gambling had a place. Here at LegalSportsBetting.com, we report on all the latest updates having to do with sports betting legalization including how the leagues feel about the issue. Luckily, the NHL realized that gambling on their sporting events did in fact belong in their sport as it has been happening well before the U.S. reversed the ban known as PASPA on the activity.
After seeing multiple other professional sports organizations involve themselves with legal sports betting, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman decided to allow the NHL to become involved with sportsbooks and participate in allowing the pastime for their fans. Not only is the league involved but individual teams in the NHL can make deals with sports betting operators as well. Soon, hockey arenas will have their own sportsbooks so that those who attend the games are able to place bets while at the event.
What Is The NHL’s Position On Legal Sports Betting?
The NHL has fully embraced the legalization of sports betting when it comes to their sport. While the acceptance was slow going at first, the league has made up for the lost time by making a variety of deals with different sportsbooks by different teams in the league. The Commissioner, Gary Bettman spoke on the NHL making a multi-year partnership deal with a huge name in the gambling industry, MGM.
“The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our League,” said Bettman. “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. Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do.”
These new partnerships are certain to gain widespread popularity not just in the hockey sports betting market but for the NHL as a whole and the number of sports bettor fans they are sure to accumulate by incorporating the hobby into their sport.
How Will Legal Sports Betting Benefit The NHL?
The NHL can only benefit from integrating sports betting. 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 betting action 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 t 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.
What’s On The NHL’s (Sport)Radar For Legal Sports Betting?
The NHL’s legal sports betting future will stand to grow in larger quantities due to allowing teams to take on endorsements and partnerships with sportsbooks on their own. The NHL as a whole has their own sportsbook in MGM but every team and arena (depending on where the team is located as they have to abide by state law) can open up their own sports betting businesses. As legal sports betting becomes more prevalent on a state by state basis nationwide, teams set within those states are sure to make deals with various sports betting operations.
Based on research alone, not just with the NHL but with other professional sports teams that have accepted such partnerships, the profits, as well as the fanbase growth, is reason enough to allow sportsbooks within NHL franchises if the state allows it. Watching the NHL on TV now and in the future, fans will see more and more that there will be little sidebars with the odds posted on the games for viewers to engage in legal sports betting.