The NBA officially inked a deal with sports betting giant William Hill this week to become the Association’s official bookmaker. William Hill will now be the official sportsbook of the NBA within the United States and the deal gives credence to widespread sports betting in the country.
William Hill will now be able to use the NBA’s official logo and league data on its websites. The latter should give basketball fans even more useful gambling data when wagering on the NBA’s 82-game regular season. The London-based sportsbook will also have its logo splashed across the NBA’s website, app, and other media.
The agreement shows William Hill’s continued aggressive work in the US following the Supreme Court overturning PASPA in 2018. The deal is a groundbreaking move by the NBA and puts them on the cusp of big things in the realm of the sports betting world.
A growing industry
The NBA has jumped on the wave of sports betting in the US and looks to capitalise on it further. The deal come after Major League Baseball had already signed on with three different sports betting partners. MLB’s deals pale in comparison to the one the NBA has inked, however.
MLB has partnerships with FanDuel, DraftKings, and MGM Resorts International. While all three are significant, the NBA’s deal with William Hill is groundbreaking due to the size, reach, and history of the bookmaker.
There are currently 11 states in the US that have passed laws allowing legal sports betting. A number of other states are working on bills concerning the legalisation of sports gambling. For most states in the country, legalising sports betting is more of a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
Sports betting in-stadium
Many football fans in the United Kingdom are familiar with sportsbooks being locate inside stadiums. Fans can place a wager on the matches prior to kickoff and Washington Wizards owner Monumental Sports and Entertainment want to bring the same experience to the NBA.
Monumental Chief Executive Ted Leonsis has already outlined the ownership group’s desire to add a sportsbook to Capital One Arena. The sportsbook would operate for Wizards, Capitals NHL games, and Mystics NBA games.
According to an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Leonsis stated he was surprised and excited about betting shops after visiting the UK. In London, he saw betting shops on the street like cafes and restaurants and wants the US to adopt the same ideas.
The US is now copying Europe in the way sports and betting go hand in hand. Capital One Arena is planned to have a sportsbook open during games but also on non-game days allowing individuals to visit the shop and wager on their favourite sports.
Sports betting in Europe has been popular for decades and it is currently at its highest peak ever. Despite the USA’s desire to copy European sports betting, it has a long way to go.
The European market is highly competitive and until a variety of sportsbooks open in the US, fans will be limited with their options.