According to Sharon Otterman, Chief Marketing Officer for major bookmaker William Hill, professional sports leagues are practically climbing on top of each other to secure a their ticket on the sports betting bandwagon in what she referred to as a ‘gold rush’. The irony is that these are the very same leagues who not that long ago had been so adamant and opposed to the prospect of wagering on major sports being legalised.

However, they seem to have changed their tune since sports betting was officially legalised across the US just last June, with almost all of them scrambling for a piece of the pie – the lucrative, sponsorship pie that is.

A Change of Heart

The most recent developments in this respect is undoubtedly the NBA’s partnership with Sportradar and Genius Sports, in order to make their data available to participating service providers within the country.  This is following breaking news revealing that the Major Basketball League had also partnered up with MGM Resorts in both the US and Japan.

However, MGM has many more similar major endorsement deals already under its belt, with the like of the WNBA, the NHL and the New York Jets too. The latter ensures the promotion of both its land-based outlets as well as its mobile betting apps to all Jets fans.

Thank You New Jersey

playing basketballAccording to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, these changes were a way of “adapting to a changing landscape” with the sports betting industry evolving at unprecedented levels, and thus the partnerships aimed to provide fans with an optimal gaming experience thanks to having all updated data to refer to.

Meanwhile, NBA VP and Head of Fantasy And Gaming, Scott Kaufman-Ross, shared his views that the current legalised sports betting landscape was simply a much better scenario than the previous unregulated market, regardless of anyone’s views on the concept and the partnerships.

The Supreme Court case won by  the state of New Jersey earlier this year changed everything with the strike-down of PASPA, thereby enabling all US states to provide  and monitor sports betting services legally and fairly. A total of seven US states have passed new laws in this respect so far, with many more expected to follow their lead in the new year.

The battle was a fierce one, with the state<ahref=””>facing strong opposition from all four major sports leagues before cinching its victory. However, according to MGM CEO Jim Murren, the leagues’ turncoat attitude had more to do with the fact that they came to realise how collaboration was needed to move forward in the best way possible and to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved.

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