While the four major U.S. sports leagues wrestle with how to approach the rapidly expanding legal sports betting market in the states, a bevy of smaller leagues and sports organizations are quickly embracing the emerging market.
The reason various niche sports are seeking out deals with sportsbook operators, gaming companies and sports information providers is grounded in the desire to expand their sports through the increased fan engagement that sports wagering can stimulate.
The four big dogs — Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League — have long known that gambling drives eyeballs, but as longtime opponents of legal sports betting, they are proceeding more cautiously in this new era. In fact, the leagues are calling for federal intervention on sports betting once again. But in any framework, legal sports betting is good for business and a potential lifeline for leagues fighting to stay afloat.