Non-exclusive MGM and NBA tie-up a potential game-changer in the US

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MGM Resorts International and the NBA (National Basketball Association) have announced that they have come to terms on a “historic alliance,” the first gaming partnership for one of the USA’s major sports leagues.

Coming in the midst of a major week for the casino owner and operator, who has also announced huge deals alongside GVC Holdings and Boyd Gaming, MGM is to use NBA and WNBA data and branding on a non-exclusive basis.

This is to be done across its land based and digital sports offerings throughout the United States, with the three year official gaming partnership mooted to be worth in the region of $25m.

Also announcing a series of integrations across NBA platforms, the partnership is designed to deliver “best-in-class” practices to protect the integrity of NBA and WNBA games, including anonymised real-time data sharing.

Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, commented: “As the landscape for sports betting in the U.S. continues to evolve at a rapid pace, MGM Resorts is a proven gaming leader for us to work with on this groundbreaking partnership.

“Our collaboration will result in the best possible gaming and entertainment experience for consumers through the use of accurate, real-time NBA and WNBA data, and our collective efforts to maintain and enhance the integrity of our games.

“The NBA has always been an innovator at the forefront of sports evolution, and MGM Resorts is thrilled to partner with the league to revolutionise sports betting in the United States.

“Integrating the NBA’s assets and having official NBA data showcased across the MGM Resorts platforms will provide us with a distinct advantage and instil more confidence in knowing that our data is directly from the NBA.”

Beats breakdown: Amongst the scramble to get deals in place post-PASPA, this announcement yesterday could well be the most significant to date given the fractious stance portrayed thus far, particularly with regards to the much debated integrity fee. Via this deal MGM is clearly backing the NBA to have enormous pulling power in the eyes of bettors, but it is the non-exclusive nature of the announcement that is perhaps most interesting. This seems to leave the door more than a little ajar for the NBA’s respective teams to disband and agree deals with sports betting organisations themselves, time will tell.