The NBA has named MGM Resorts International as its first official gaming partner. The basketball league announced the deal today in a New York press conference where the casino giant will serve as their sports betting partner.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke at length during the presser. Then, Silver and MGM CEO Jim Murren answered several questions from reporters.
The deal is a 3-year arrangement. According to reports, MGM will pay $25 million over the time period for access to the NBA’s intellectual property.
MGM will also receive official data directly from the NBA. At the moment, it will be the only gaming company to do so, although the deal is non-exclusive.
“The NBA has always been an innovator at the forefront of sports evolution, and MGM Resorts is thrilled to partner with the league to revolutionize sports betting in the United States,” said Murren. “Integrating the NBA’s assets and having official NBA data showcased across the MGM Resorts platforms will provide us with a distinct advantage and instill more confidence in knowing that our data is directly from the NBA.”
MGM will not pay any integrity fees to the NBA
During the press conference, Silver stressed the NBA’s need for compensation for its data. The non-exclusivity of the deal will allow the basketball league to pursue similar deals for its data releases.
There was no mention of integrity fees in either the conference or the press release that followed. This omission is a bit of a surprise, considering that the NBA is the main architect of the concept.
After the Supreme Court dismissed PASPA, the sports leagues surmised that money would flow around their events at an unprecedented rate. Being businesses, the leagues wanted a method to capture some of that flow.
Enter the integrity fee. State governments would compel their sportsbooks to pay a percentage of handle to the leagues themselves.
However, this deal appears to sound the death knell for integrity fees, at least as far as the NBA is concerned. The basketball league appears to be refocusing on the revenue potential surrounding data and intellectual property releases.
MGM sports betting has been quite busy lately
This announcement is the fourth major piece of news for MGM in the last three days. MGM is jumping into the nascent sports betting market with both feet.
On Sunday, the casino giant announced partnerships with two major gaming partners. The first new partner for MGM was British conglomerate GVC.
Most Americans have never heard of GVC or any of its best-known subsidiaries. However, the gaming giant owns both bwin.party, a major online casino, and Ladbrokes, one of the world’s largest gaming companies.
GVC will power MGM’s sports betting platform in all of MGM’s resident states. That list is growing, actually, due to the other deal in question.
MGM now has an access deal with Boyd Gaming. Though competitors, the two companies will share licenses with each other and allow both to access all 15 states each company occupies.
MGM is especially interested in Boyd’s Pennsylvania license. The gaming giant would like to piggyback its sports betting operation onto the Boyd license at Valley Forge Casino Resort.
Lastly, MGM announced that sports betting will commence at its two Mississippi properties. The Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Gold Strike in Tunica will accept Magnolia State sports wagers beginning on Aug. 1.
MGM may be many things, but complacent is not one of them. If anything, the casino titan is just waking up.