MGM strikes MLS sports betting deal, club partnerships could be next

Major League Soccer has agreed a sports betting deal with MGM Resorts International, the league’s players’ union has confirmed.

In a statement released yesterday, the MLS Players Association said: “MLS’ sponsorship agreement with MGM and sports betting in general will generate additional revenues.”

The MLSPA said it had been working closely with the other player associations and with the league “to both understand and mitigate any negative impacts of sports betting on players”.

The deal, reportedly for four years, is the fourth major sports league deal made by MGM in the US following agreements with the NBA, NHL and MLB.

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The new deal, set to be announced by the league today, could also open the door for sports betting deals among MLS clubs.

Robert Vartan, senior director of global partnerships at LA Galaxy’s ownership group AEG, told SportBusiness Sponsorship last week that the club was well-placed to develop the category – if and when sports betting is legalised in the state of California, and subject to the decisions of Major League Soccer and AEG itself.

“These are the three levels that we need to be mindful of, and then we must ensure that we are doing the right partnerships in the right categories,” said Vartan.

“We already have a lot of ideas to make the betting category really impactful both in-stadium and in-market to our fans.”

LA Galaxy already has one gambling-related sponsor in San Manuel Casino, a Californian tribal gaming operator.

“We would obviously look to have a conversation with them should betting regulation be approved in the state of California to understand how they might want to expand their partnership with us,” said Vartan.

“But we would also look to others because this a massive category and once it’s approved, we will certainly be one of the most sought-out teams in our sport.”

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