One sportsbook is about to see a lot more hockey action.
The National Hockey League (NHL) announced an official sports betting partnership with MGM Resorts International (MGM) on Monday, October 29, 2018.
All the terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed, but here is what we know so far.
Why did the NHL partner with MGM?
In May 2018, after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, the federal law preventing states from legalizing sports betting, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman changed his stance on sports betting.
Originally, Bettman was vehemently against gambling, saying sports betting is not consistent with the league’s public image, but now has come to accept it as a “vehicle for more fan engagement” as sports betting becomes legal in states all over the country.
MGM spent $700 million on T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which is home to the Vegas Golden Knights. MGM owns a portion of the arena and is an official sponsor for the Knights.
In addition, MGM recently agreed to a deal with the NBA about league data, and since the NHL already had a close relationship with MGM, it made a lot of sense for them to become the first sports betting partner of the NHL.
What are the specifics of the NHL partnership with MGM?
The multi-year deal allows the NHL to share non-exclusive data with MGM for standard and live, in-game betting as well as giving MGM the rights to use NHL logos for all teams.
The data shared on games and players will allow MGM to offer a variety of new betting options at its sportsbook – potentially including prop bets on power-plays, overtime periods, shootouts, and potentially odds and betting lines yet to be thought of by other sportsbooks.
The deal also includes making MGM properties an official resort destination for NHL games and events.
There is no exclusivity in the agreement between the NHL and MGM, which means other sportsbooks and sports betting operations can enter into similar agreements with the league.
How much is MGM paying for NHL data?
The NHL will not be getting any percentage of the handle at the sportsbook, which was echoed by the NHL commissioner with the announcement.
Revenue earned in through this partnership is a set rate and does not change based on the volume of wagers placed.
While the amount MGM paid, if any, is not available to anyone outside the partnership, the American Gaming Association released a report in October 2018, showing the NHL could increase revenue by $216 million annually due to legalized sports betting. The NHL generated over $4.5 billion for the 2017-2018 season.
All revenue as a result from the agreement is split between the owners and players 50/50, since the revenue is considered “hockey-related” under the player’s collective bargaining agreement.
When can I bet on the new NHL odds and lines from MGM?
For this season, the MGM will begin testing and offering new and unique forms of wagering based on the enhanced data from the NHL at the biggest and most popular professional hockey events of the year, which will include the following:
- Stanley Cup Finals
- Stanley Cup Playoffs
- NHL All-Star Game
- NHL Stadium Series
- NHL Winter Classic
The full implementation and rollout for the new NHL betting options at MGM for its user is currently expected to happen by the start of the 2019-2020 NHL season.
Where can I bet on MGM’s new NHL odds and lines?
U.S. citizens can bet at MGM location in states that have legalized brick-and-mortar sports betting operating within state lines. Many states are expected to legalize wagering on sports in 2019, so MGM will likely open several new locations after getting approved for a license. Bettors in other states can still be through offshore sportsbooks offering NHL betting odds and lines.
The deal is only for the U.S. currently. Canada citizens will have to wait until the Canada-based NHL franchises work out an agreement with the Canadian government.
How much money is wagered on the NHL?
Rough estimates currently put the NHL at roughly 6% of the handle at any online or land-based sportsbook.
However, the amount of money wagered on the group of sports where hockey is featured increased by 36% since the Vegas Golden Knights arrived in Las Vegas in October 2017.