MGM Resorts International is the first official gaming partner of Major League Baseball. The agreement includes marketing access to the league’s logos and the use of MLB’s official data for its sports betting operations. It is the casino company’s third partnership with a major sports league.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced the deal in a joint press conference with MGM.
“We are pleased to partner with MGM Resorts International, a clear industry leader in the sports gaming area, to work together on bringing innovative experiences to baseball fans and MGM customers. Our partnership with MGM will help us navigate this evolving space responsibly, and we look forward to the fan engagement opportunities ahead.”
Pennsylvania sports betting
MGM doesn’t have an official sports betting presence in the Pennsylvania – yet.
MGM has an application on file with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for online gaming. However, it is only for online casino games, not for sports betting. Outside entities are currently not allowed to go for a sports betting license.
We do know, however, that neighboring New Jersey sportsbooks take in plenty of sports bets from Pennsylvanians as they bet on their beloved teams, the Philadelphia Phillies included.
The Keystone State welcomed its first retail sports book at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in mid-Nov. It is about a two-hour drive from the casino to Philadelphia. On the other hand, a trip to an Atlantic City casino from Philly only takes about an hour.
MGM has a retail sports betting location at Borgata Hotel Atlantic City. It also has a mobile sports betting app, playMGM, that accepts bets from anywhere in Garden State. The state line is just a short drive away.
More about the MGM’s latest league partnership
Many would say the agreement between MGM and MLB was only a matter of time. MGM already secured similar partnerships with the NBA and NHL.
The deal authorizes MGM to use MLB’s official statistics feed. While access to the feed is non-inclusive, MLB will make “enhanced statistics” exclusively available to the company.
Game integrity has been a hot topic for the leagues, and the new agreement addresses it. The two companies “will work together on comprehensive responsible gaming measures and work to protect the integrity of the game both on and off the field.”
Additionally, the agreement calls for the partnership to capitalize on baseball’s popularity and MGM’s brand presence in Japan. MGM will also partner with MLB for the MLB Road Show and other events throughout the country.
The financial details of the agreement were not made available. However, MGM Resorts chairman and CEO Jim Murren, finding himself in a familiar position, commented on the company’s latest partnership.
“We are excited to enter into this historic partnership with MLB. We are thrilled to create a new one-of-a-kind fan experience for baseball fans. Combining MGM Resorts’ world-class entertainment and technology with MLB data will continue to transform a rapidly changing industry. This partnership further amplifies the significance of our GVC JV, firmly establishing MGM Resorts and playMGM as the market leader in partnerships with major professional sports leagues.”
MLB stands to profit from legalized sports betting
MLB, like the other major leagues, were steadfast against the legalization of sports betting. Then the Supreme Court overturned PASPA.
Since then, the leagues were busy trying to figure out how to cash in – mostly by requesting integrity fees with state regulators. That didn’t go over so well, though.
It looks like the leagues are settling into a new normal. A normal that includes league-level agreements and individual team partnerships with sportsbooks and gaming companies. And the industry is still young.
According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), all four sports leagues stand to realize somewhere around $4.2 billion in additional revenue from legalized sports betting.
MLB, specifically, stands to see $952 million of that amount. The additional revenue comes from increased fan engagement, advertising revenues, sponsorship opportunities and data deals, like the agreement with MGM.
Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the AGA, released a statement about the latest partnership in a press release.
“Agreements between sports leagues and the gaming industry enable all sports stakeholders to work together to eliminate the illegal sports betting market. With MLB’s announcement today, three major sports leagues now have official sports betting partners – evidence of our continued commitment to protecting the integrity of both consumers and sporting competitions and that contracts remain preferential to statutes in all sports betting deals.”
Photo by Jeff Smith – Perspectives / Shutterstock.com