The New York Jets have joined with MGM Resorts International (MGM) in a first-of-its-kind partnership making MGM Resorts the Jets’ official gaming partner in an arrangement that goes beyond a basic casino sponsorship, the companies announced Wednesday.
The move is the latest in a recent flurry of transactions uniting the casino/sports wagering world with the U.S. professional sports leagues.
The multi-year agreement between the Jets and MGM is described as “the most comprehensive and integrated gaming partnership in the National Football League (NFL) to date.”
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday announced that the league struck a multi-year sponsorship agreement with MGM Resorts International (MGM), making the gaming and entertainment giant an official sports betting partner of the NHL. This follows a similar announcement by the National Basketball Association in July, where the NBA presented MGM as the NBA’s official gaming partner.
The NHL deal, aside from designating MGM as an official partner, will allow MGM use of the NHL’s trademarks in connection with sports wagering at its properties internationally, as well as access to “official league data” including advanced data — some of which is still getting hammered out in the lab.
“The data we’re in the process of inventing is a process that’s been ongoing,” Bettman said. “It wasn’t our vision to develop it for sports betting, but as a broadcast enhancement to bring fans closer to the game.”
But wait no more: the playMGM app is available now to New Jersey-based Android users. “The playMGM NJ Sports app is being initially soft-launched on the Android platform, with an iOS version due to launch imminently,” said MGM Resorts International in a statement coinciding with the app’s release. “Through our partnership with GVC Holdings, our mobile betting operations in New Jersey will be delivered on a best-in-class mobile platform that positions us as a leader in technology, accessibility and sports betting expertise” added Scott Butera, MGM Resorts International President of Interactive Gaming.
After zipping around the platform a bit from here in New Jersey, what follows is some initial impressions, notes on what you can bet and some odds and ends.
MGM’s New Jersey Online Sportsbook Available Through Borgata’s and playMGM App Ahead of Football Season
So what can patrons wager on? A lot.
There’s straight bets, futures, props, and parlays all available. The professional (NFL) and college football menus are queued up with a wide variety of different player and team props, futures and totals, such as:
Most regular season losses by any NFL team: o/u 13 (-110)
Deshaun Watson regular season touchdown passes o/u 26.5 (-110)
Kareem Hunt regular season rushing yards o/u 1099.5 (-110)
Regular season points by Philadelphia Eagles o/u 404.5 (-110)
Will the Texans make the playoffs? Yes -130, No +110
Which two teams will make the Super Bowl? For example, Steelers/Saints is 50-1
Will Grier (West Virginia) regular season passing touchdowns: o/u 35.5 (-110)
In what National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver and MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren hailed as a historic partnership, the professional sports league and major international gaming and hospitality company have struck an agreement on sports betting data and intellectual property, the first relationship of its kind.
The pair made the announcement at a press conference at the St. Regis New York Hotel in New York City on Tuesday. The deal will permit MGM and its properties offering sports betting to use official NBA league data as well as NBA logos and marks in conjunction with its sports betting products.
This agreement makes MGM the “official gaming partner” of the NBA, but this deal is not exclusive to MGM. In fact, eliciting a laugh from Murren and the audience, Silver invited more deals of this kind with other gaming entities.
NBA Sports Betting Deal With MGM Ushers In ‘A Whole New World For Us’ and Positions MGM to ‘Win’ as Number of US Sports Betting States Expected to Grow
It’s a 3-year-deal, of which the financials were not disclosed, will allow both sides to test the waters in what Silver called “a whole new world for us.”
“NBA’s three-year deal does not include rights to allow MGM to stream live NBA games on a mobile app that allows gamblers to bet on that app at the same time,” reported ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “That, many believe, is where the big money is.”
Silver indicated that the NBA recognized that their aggressive lobbying campaign in at least two dozen states with respect to sports betting legislation was an “uphill battle.” The league saw that states were resisting their preferred legislation, and further that a federal framework was not in the works.
But Silver indicated that the state-level battle is one that’s far from over as so far only six states have legalized (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Mississippi, West Virginia) or expanded their sports wagering offerings (Delaware). But so far, no state has passed legislation mandating the use official league data, or requiring operators or state lotteries to pay the league an “integrity fee” or royalty in any amount. New York came close.
In response to a question about the origin of the official league data — used to grade wagers — from Sportradar, Silver said that their Sportradar deal does not govern its data in the U.S. With respect to data for MGM and other potential partners, he said “The official data feed will come directly from the leagues operation center, or from a partner yet to be named by the NBA.”
Big Week for MGM.
Murren was pleased to have the MGM become the first to test these waters. MGM has now set the market rate for the cost of doing business of this kind directly with a professional sports league.
It’s been quite a week in MGM announcements, with news of its joint venture with the announced formation on Monday of a sports betting and online gaming joint venture with British betting group GVC Holdings Plc, owner of the Coral, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet brands.
Further on Monday, MGM and Boyd Gaming announced a new partnership on Monday that will expand MGM’s portfolio into states likely to offer sports betting and/or online gaming in the coming months or years. The partnership has an eye toward jurisdictions where either Boyd Gaming or MGM operates physical casino resorts and should be able to obtain licenses to operate online.
“We needeto have great brands, which we have at MGM. We needed the right market access in the U.S. We have that. … we also need the best in-game betting experience which we get with GVC, and now we have tremendous data,” Murren summed it up.
He remarked that all of these pieces has MGM primed to “win” in the expanding U.S. sports betting market.
There was some news for New Jersey sportes betting tucked at the end of the presser, too. Said Murren: “At the end of this week we’ll be taking mobile bets from The Borgata via the Play MGM app.”
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As had been rumored since the new Mississippi sports betting regulations went into effect on July 21, the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, MS) and Gold Strike Casino Resort (Tunica, MS) will accept their first legal sports wagers on Wednesday, August 1 at 12 p.m. CT.
“The two Mississippi gaming resorts, both part of the MGM Resorts International portfolio, will celebrate the occasion with invited guests placing simultaneous first bets in the two locations at opposite ends of the Magnolia State,” a statement from MGM reads. “These first sports wagers will be placed on the 26th anniversary of the first casino bet made in Mississippi’s modern casino age, when the first pair of dice was rolled at the Isle of Capri in Biloxi on August 1, 1992.”
For now, wagering will be retail, or on-premises only. Mississippi’s enabling legislation in 2017 that permits sports wagering now there there’s been a change in federal law, courtesy the United States Supreme Court in May, but allows only wagering only in person and via mobile on casino premises.
Mississippi Sports Betting Will Arrive This Week in Biloxi and Tunica at MGM’s Beau Rivage and Gold Strike.
Among dignitaries and sports figures invited to place the first wagers are Willis McGahee, former NFL Pro Bowl running back (2003-2013); New Orleans native Robert Royal, former NFL tightend (2002-2010); and handicapper and sports analyst for USA TODAY, Danny Sheridan.
“It’s been exciting, it’s been busy, and we’re starting to get applications in,” said Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director Allen Godfrey in early July. “Operators are diligently preparing. It appears that the enthusiasm is high.
“We’ve had staff in Nevada, we’ve had them in New Jersey,” Godfrey continued. “We talk constantly with these other agencies and the model we are after is the Nevada model.”
Support and training from personnel in Nevada is part of why MGM will be the first to take wagers in Mississippi, and why the MGM-owned Borgata Hotel & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey opened its doors on June 14, the day that the Garden State saw its first two licensees launch.
Over a dozen of Mississippi’s casinos, largely concentrated in Biloxi on the Gulf Coast and Tunica in the northwestern part of the state near Memphis, Tennessee, have applied for licenses.
Here's another "sign" of Mississippi sports betting.
Full details of the sportsbook at the Beau Rivage, already regarded as a cream-of-the-crop resort in Mississippi, are not available. The lounge is likely a temporary space for the time being with about 5 to 8 sports betting windows/tellers available.
Further, we anticipate a traditional sports betting menu, with straight bets, parlays, teasers, props and futures, just like the recently launched Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And there will be no limitation on wagering on local college teams — namely Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Sports Handle has learned that the Golden Nugget in Biloxi will also launch sometime in August, likely before football season.
Likewise, the Horsehoe Tunica, next door neighbor of the Gold Strike, will launch “The Book” in mid-August, roughly. That opening will coincide with a sportsbook launch at Biloxi’s Harrah’s Gulf Coast Hotel & Casino — a Caesars property like the Horseshoe. Others in both Biloxi and Tunica will follow in the coming weeks.
This MGM news comes on the same day that the company disclosed further details of its $200 million joint venture with British betting group GVC. Plus — Monday brought word of its partnership with regional operator Boyd Gaming. The latter arrangement will expand MGM’s portfolio into states likely to offer sports betting and/or online gaming in the coming months or years. The partnership has an eye toward jurisdictions where either Boyd Gaming or MGM Resorts operate physical casino resorts and should be able to obtain licenses to operate online.
This sure beats a Friday news dump! Stay tuned for further coverage Mississippi sports betting launches and developments.