A first for gambling powerhouse Bally's as it hits the ice with NHL
Bally’s Corporation, the US betting and gambling giant, has today stepped up its direct involvement in sport in North America by becoming an official partner of ice hockey’s National Hockey League.
The multi-year deal represents Bally’s first sports betting partnership with a professional sports league, and is the latest example of a major league allying with a leading gaming firm in the liberalised US market.
The deal builds on Bally’s recent naming rights sponsorship deal for the 21 regional sports networks of Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Bally’s owns and manages 11 casinos across seven states, set to rise to 15 in 11, plus a horse racetrack and 13 authorised off-track betting licences in Colorado.
The company has recently diversified with acquisitions including sportsbook Bet.Works, daily fantasy sports company Monkey Knife Fight, and, just this month, free-to-play games provider SportCaller.
As an official sports betting partner of the NHL, Bally’s will have rights to use NHL marks and logos and access to the league’s official data for its expanding betting offerings.
In addition, through its new tie-up with Sinclair, reported to be worth $85 million over 10 years, Bally’s will create content for NHL fans and integrate that in live coverage across 19 RSNs.
The company joins other NHL partners including international online bookmaker PointsBet, which recently agreed a multi-year partnership with covering USA and Australia, with the league taking an equity stake in the business as part of the deal.
Commenting on its new venture, George Papanier, president and chief executive of Bally’s, said: “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 favourite hockey teams.”
Keith Wachtel, NHL chief business officer and senior executive vice-president, added: “We’re thrilled to become the first national sports league partner of Bally’s Corporation. With its Sinclair Broadcast Group partnership combined with a strong strategic vision for its portfolio of sports betting products, Bally’s is an ideal partner for the NHL to further engage our avid fan base on a national and local level.”
The deal with Pointsbet highlighted the NHL’s desire to seek out betting sponsors beyond North America, which was also demonstrated by a first-ever deal of this kind in Europe, with Tipsport for the territories of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which was announced last month.