There has been much debate amongst mainstream league bodies whether they should endorse sports betting. To be honest, the initial dispute, if it may indeed be called such, centered heavily around the infamous integrity fees, which many experts and observers perceived as an empty gesture and an attempt on the part of the same sporting bodies to grab extra money.
NBA at the Helm Again
Now, the National Basketball Federation (NBA), and perhaps the most-progressive league, has agreed to roll out a new partnership with MGM Resorts International targeting the development of sports betting activities.
Commissioner Adam Silver turned up at a swanky hotel in Manhattan and made the announcement on NBA TV, fleshing out more details about the partnership itself. According to Mr. Silver, the deal will carry on for a period of three years and it will cost $8 million every year.
Unlike previous attempts to get some money out of the sports betting sector without actually investing with it, the NBA have decided to throw in their own financial heft and start building a future for such operations, and most importantly – the league’s own place in them.
The NBA’s entry comes at a time when lawmakers and governors in most places are at loggerheads as to the adoption of sports betting bills. There have been many reports where Governors would downright defer the signing of a proposed bill, because they, i.e. the governors, had stakes of their own to protect, making it a clear conflict of interest.
NBA and MGM – No Strangers
To think of MGM and the NBA as entities that haven’t worked together before is wrong, of course. MGM has been an active sponsor of the NBA Summer League and the company had offered its own facilities for certain events and races. The relationship of trust has been building between MGM and the NBA over time.
In fact, MGM has had a similar approach towards all its partnerships. Instead of trying to pressure potential partners into signing deals, MGM Resorts have been much more inclined to seek other ways of establishing trust before making their pitch.
A Partnership that Will Stick
Not only is the partnership very likely to remain intact. It’s even more plausible to see the ties between the two companies develop further. As legislation begins to clear up, it’s quite likely to see the NBA-MGM partnership strengthen even further.
Still, the introducing of a betting deal will be a test to the relation both parties have been working so hard on. And yet, there are more things to consider. The NBA may have been able to find a reliable partner in the face of the MGM, but other leagues are not as happy as that.
In other words, there is going to b e a lot of pushback against sports betting in places that are not Las Vegas. Sports betting is coming under heavy fire from similar associations, which claim that they need extra money paid to ensure that sports betting won’t incite unsavory practices. Nobody knows, though, how such money would be used if at all.