Bally’s Becomes Sports Betting Partner of the NHL

Bally's Atlantic City

Land-based casino operator Bally’s Corporation has entered into an agreement to become an official sports betting partner of the NHL.

The deal enables Bally’s to use the official NHL marks and logos as well as the league’s official data for use in its expanding range of sports betting offerings. Bally’s recently purchased Bet.Works for $125M to launch its sports betting business later this year.

It also allows Bally’s to create NHL content that will be integrated to the game coverage on 19 regional TV networks operated under the Sinclair Broadcast Group which is being rebranded to Bally’s. Sinclair broadcasts the games of 12 NHL teams including the last two Stanley Cup winners in the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues.

Said Bally’s Corporation President and CEO George Papanier:

“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the NHL, which represents an important milestone in our strategy to become a leader in the online sports betting and iGaming space. With access to the NHL’s official logos and brands, together with our first-of-its-kind media partnership with Sinclair, we will continue on our path to transform how fans engage with their favorite hockey teams.”

NHL Embraces Sports Betting

The NHL has been one of the most progressive pro sports leagues when it comes to embracing sports betting in the last couple of years. The NHL has partnered with the American Gaming Association to bring responsible gaming messages directly to fans via an extensive public service campaign inside arenas.

Last month, the NHL entered into a deal with an Eastern European sports betting company covering the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Most recently the Detroit Red Wings entered into a sports betting partnership with online gambling operator PointsBet.

First Time for Bally’s

While this kind of partnership isn’t new to the NHL, this deal represents the first time that Bally’s has forged a sports betting deal with a major professional sports league, making this a landmark deal for the company.

Rhode Island based Bally’s currently operates in seven states with a total of 11 casino properties. It has pending deals that will add four new properties in three different states to its existing portfolio.

NHL Receives Shares in PointsBet As Part of Sports Betting Agreement

NHL PLayer Sidney Crosby
The National Hockey League received equity from online gambling operator PointsBet as part of the agreement that named the Australian-based company as the NHL’s “official sports betting partner” on Wednesday.

A total of 43,106 PointsBet ordinary shares were allocated to the NHL to sweeten the deal. The shares were priced according to a recent 20-day trading average on the Australian Securities Exchange. Using the average, the shares are valued at $500,000 but are worth over $531,000 according to Tuesday’s closing price. According to the filing, the shares will be distributed in equal parts after 12, 36, and 48 months.

Both Companies Entwined With NBC

As its official sports betting partner, PointsBet will be authorized to use the official NHL league and team logos in its online sports betting app and marketing materials. PointsBet content will now be featured during NBC’s broadcast of NHL games.

The deal will be enhanced by the existing partnership between the league and NBC. Currently, the NHL has a ten-year broadcasting contract with NBC worth $2B. That deal expires after the 2020-21 NHL season but NBC is looking to renew the partnership “for a long time to come”. Meanwhile, PointsBet recently entered into a $500M deal to become NBC’s exclusive betting partner.

Not the First Betting Partner

The NHL opposed the legalization of sports betting for decades but the PointsBet deal isn’t the first of its kind for the North American professional ice hockey league. FanDuel, William Hill, and MGM have partnered with the NHL in the past.

The NHL is also an investor in DraftKings as it acquired shares of the company back when it was still just a private fantasy sports company. In August 2020, Sportico reported that the league also agreed to a data partnership with Sportradar in a deal that is also believed to involve equity.