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NBA makes MGM Resorts first sports betting partner

North American basketball league the NBA has struck a pioneering deal that makes MGM Resorts International the official gaming partner of the organisation and the women’s WNBA.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to multiple reports it is worth around $25m (€21.3m) over three years.

The NBA has struck the agreement less than three months after the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of New Jersey in its bid to overturn the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and allow states outside of Nevada to legalise sports betting.

The partnership is the NBA’s first with a sports betting operator in the US and is the first of its kind between MGM Resorts and a major professional sports league.

As part of the partnership, MGM Resorts will use official NBA and WNBA data and branding, on a non-exclusive basis, across its land-based and digital sports betting offerings throughout the United States.

MGM Resorts International chairman and chief executive, Jim Murren, said in a statement: “Integrating the NBA’s assets and having official NBA data showcased across the MGM Resorts platforms will provide us with a distinct advantage and instil more confidence in knowing that our data is directly from the NBA.”

He added, according to the Associated Press news agency: “I know the value of data. To be able to have the official NBA data for sports bettors around the world is very valuable. I was willing to, and I’ve paid for that.”

MGM Resorts and the NBA will also partner on best-in-class practices to protect the integrity of NBA and WNBA games, including anonymised real-time data sharing. The NBA and MGM Resorts will work together to create a series of integrations across NBA platforms, including a special digital content series.

MGM Resorts will be promoted across the NBA’s digital assets including NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA social media platforms. Additionally, the NBA will be promoted across MGM Resorts’ sports betting platforms.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the two leagues believe they’re getting adequately compensated for the data. “It’s a leap of faith on both sides,” Silver said. “It’s a deal moderate in length where I think we can both step back and assess as we go and see, ‘Is it working? Is this deal fair? Are we providing the consumers with the right type of experience?’”

“We understood the value of our marks, of official designations. But I think then in terms of the data we’re providing, we have a sense of the magnitude of the current business and a sense of where things may go over the next few years. And I’d say we generally tried to approximate in a sense to come up with what we thought was fair compensation.”

The sports betting partnership is the NBA and WNBA’s latest collaboration with MGM Resorts. In 2017, MGM Resorts purchased the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. The Aces are Las Vegas’ first professional basketball team and play their home games at MGM Resorts’ Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Additionally, MGM Resorts has been the title partner of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League over the last two years.