Examining the NHL’s New Sports-Betting Partnership with MGM Resorts

The NHL announced a new partnership with MGM Resorts International, becoming the second major professional sports league in the United States (after the NBA) to sign a deal with the casino giant. While the agreement is non-exclusive and allows the NHL to sign similar agreements with other sportsbooks, it is a deal unlike any other, with potential for innovative and exciting sports gambling opportunities.

Here, we’ll explain what we know about this groundbreaking sports-betting agreement and offer our insight on how the NHL’s cutting-edge data and technologies could impact hockey fans’ gambling behaviors.

The Agreement Between the NHL and MGM Resorts

The agreement, which was announced on Monday, October 29, 2018, grants MGM Resorts International the rights to the NHL’s intellectual property, including team logos and other branding materials. In return, the NHL will receive a fixed fee of an estimated $25 million for three years. Although the exact amount has not been released, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman did say the revenue generated from the deal will be split between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association.

How the NHL’s Tracking Systems Could Impact Betting Behaviors

In addition to the branding materials and rights, MGM Resorts will also be given access to advanced game data, which includes information from the NHL’s innovative puck and player tracking technology. This cutting-edge software is still in the development stages and has been used in some forms during the Hockey World Cup, but could offer a one-of-a-kind betting experience for hockey fans.

This continued integration of technology and sports gambling brings two results:
Sportsbooks can begin setting more accurate odds, so they lose less often.
Those placing bets begin to think they have more power over their winnings, as more detailed information leads them to think their wagers are less up to chance.

Advice from CCGNJ

As an organization that helps connect people with a gambling disorder with the resources and support they need to live a healthy life and overcome a gambling problem, we at the CCGNJ understand how many people who enjoy gambling recreationally can get caught up in the fun and let their betting practices get out of hand.

Our advice for those who take part in sports betting on hockey or any other sport in New Jersey is to understand that in-depth analytics and advanced data only serve to help the sportsbooks set more competitive and profitable lines. Bettors often feel that with more information at their disposal, they can make smarter bets and have more control over their winnings. This can cause people to try to recover their losses, which can be a slippery slope that results in a severe problem.

If you or a loved one needs help with disordered gambling (sometimes referred to as “compulsive gambling”) behaviors, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey can help. We offer gambling treatment for NJ sports bettors as well as anyone else with a gambling disorder. Reach out to our 24/7 confidential helpline to speak with a professional or view our online resources for more information!


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