While many top sports leagues in the U.S. were against the idea of legalized sports gambling, they’ve all come to the conclusion that the activity and deal making isn’t going to go away, with the NBA being at the forefront. They’ve also realized that no state is in favor of paying an “integrity fee” when the leagues are already tasked with ensuring contests are clean (even though they don’t always do a good job).
NBA’s New Gambling Deal
The NBA was one of the first leagues to see the light after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed PASPA in May 2018, and it continues to push forward with what will eventually be a full integration of sports gambling in the league. As evidence, the NBA has just signed a new deal with a major sports gambling operator that will pave the way for future activity.
Kindred Group announced that its Unibet brand is now the NBA’s Authorized Sports Betting Operator. The move follows deals the league set up previously with DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM Resorts, William Hill and even with overseas operators such as Tabcorp in Australia and Française des Jeux in France.
The deal will give Unibet oddsmakers the ability to provide sports gambling fans with official NBA data in creating their odds. The data will be constantly updated, in real-time, giving gamblers up-to-date and accurate information before placing their wagers.
Manuel Stan, the Senior VP for Kindred US, said in a statement, “We are very proud to team with the NBA. This will add further customer value to an already first-class betting experience thanks to official NBA betting data and league marks across our mobile and retail platforms. Kindred shares the NBA’s view on a legal and sustainable sports betting market, which makes this partnership a perfect match.”
The NBA also has arrangements with Sportsradar and Genius Sports to give them the same access to data. Sportsradar is involved with the NFL and MLB, as well, and the increased number of partnerships is only going to help improve the sports gambling space.
While no mention is made of any monetary compensation in exchange for the rights, that is a logical conclusion. When the leagues figured out that the integrity fee wasn’t going to happen, they looked to other methods for capitalizing on the spread of sports gambling and these partnerships will make all the leagues more money. In some cases, league presidents have tried to force states to adopt legislation requiring the use of official league data, which would only be provided if purchased from the leagues, but those efforts have mostly failed.
While the NBA was making its announcement about a new gambling deal with Kindred, the Philadelphia 76ers were busy announcing a deal of their own. The team has now joined forces with mobile sportsbook Fox Bet, which will serve as Philadelphia’s presenting partner of all its radio broadcasts. It will also give the gambling entity access to all of the team’s social media channels for advertising and will be able to hang signage at the Wells Fargo Center.
This isn’t the first NBA gambling related deal for the 76ers, either. It has already partnered with Caesars Entertainment and a local casino, Parx Casino, as well as being involved with Esports Entertainment in an eSports betting partnership.
Fox Bet CEO Robin Chhabra said in a statement about the new arrangement, “To have the opportunity to tie the FOX Bet brand to one of the most iconic sports franchises in NBA history is absolutely thrilling. This agreement connects us with an extremely passionate local fanbase in a unique way.”
If that weren’t enough to show how sports gambling is destined to be an everyday part of pro sports, NBC has added to the mix. MNC Sports Philadelphia, an affiliate of the national broadcaster, is bringing back broadcasts of 76ers NBA games that will focus on sports gambling and the deal will include real-time insight and analysis of the games for betting purposes.