There is little doubt that the whole US sports scene has undergone big changes lately in terms of sports betting. The recent May 2018 Supreme Court ruling has seen any US state that wishes to make sports gambling legal allowed to do so. This has led many of the major sports to reflect on what a big change this could mean for them and also the opportunity that it presents as more people indulge in legalized sports betting.
The first of the major four US sports to get on board with this new change is basketball. For the current season, the NBA decided that gambling companies would be allowed to sponsor the league. This saw a huge three-year deal inked with MGM for $25m! Of course, this could also be great news for teams in the future, as they could allow gambling companies to sponsor them individually. Many feel that this will only help to cement basketball’s place as the US’s second most popular sport for fans.
However, aside from these general points, what specific impact has gambling sponsorship in the NBA had so far?
More money coming into the sport
Surely the biggest impact for the whole league and teams in it is the influx of money that gambling sponsorship has seen. This has already been noted in other sporting leagues such as soccer’s English Premier League, where many clubs have bookmakers or online casinos as their shirt sponsors. Tapping into this has already seen basketball in America generate huge extra revenue, which can then be put back into things such as grassroots programs for children, improving facilities for fans, and funds for teams to buy the best players.
Helped to update basketball’s image
As of now, basketball is the only one of the major four sports in America to strike a sponsorship deal with gambling partners. This makes them a real leader in US sports and puts them right at the cutting edge of the expected boom in legalized US sports betting. This has given basketball a new, hip image when compared to its competitors such as NFL. For the current season, it has brought a real buzz of fresh energy and excitement to proceedings.
Made fans more aware of sports betting
It may sound strange to say, but many Americans may not have heard about the recent law changes or know about gambling companies. One real impact of this season’s gambling sponsorship in the NBA has been to make these people aware of all this. As it is right there in front of them at games or when they watch the league, it helps to educate them on sports betting now being a legal activity in many states.
This could also extend in other areas of gambling, such as online casino games. As US citizens begin to get comfortable with sports betting sites, they could begin to also try out online casino sites for fun in states where it is legal, such as New Jersey. There are many NJ online casino sites to try out in this regard.
Boost to sports betting companies
Of course, one impact in terms of sports betting companies sponsoring the NBA is the extra revenue that gambling companies themselves will make. Already, sports betting is a big business, both online and in person, and the extra exposure that sponsoring a top league such as the NBA gives companies such as MGM will only make this sector grow further. As sports betting really takes off in the US in the coming years, more gambling companies will be eager to get their brand in front of more basketball fans to make more money.
Tight regulations within the game
Right from the start of the MGM sponsorship deal, the top brass at the NBA were fully aware of how key it was to have tight regulations for those involved in the game. This has seen great efforts made by the NBA this season to keep a check on any players potentially betting on games they are involved in and also monitoring any suspicious activity in terms of betting patterns on games. The hope is that this kind of education and monitoring will avoid any problems with corruption that sports betting could bring.
Gambling sponsorship has given NBA a boost
What seems fairly clear since the initial sponsorship deal was signed off nine months ago is that the NBA has benefited from it. Not only has it marked out basketball’s top league as a modern leader in sports, but it has also helped more fans to get into the game through sports betting companies such as MGM. As more people bet on basketball, more people begin to follow it and eventually become fans. As the years roll on and more gambling sponsorship deals are done, this could well see many more basketball fans made.