Internationally-known betting and gaming company William Hill U.S. has inked a new partnership making it the authorized sports betting operator of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States.
Under the terms of the agreement, the operator will have use of official NBA betting data and league marks in its U.S. sports books and mobile platforms, while the NBA will promote the gambling company across its digital holdings including the NBA app, NBA.com and its social media platforms.
Timing is everything:
The deal comes just in time for the start of the NBA regular season on October 22.
Senior Vice President, Head of Fantasy & Gaming, NBA, Scott Kaufman-Ross, said in the league’s official press release…
“William Hill is a globally respected brand that has set an early standard for sports betting in the U.S. market. We are delighted to partner with William Hill as they grow their business throughout the U.S. and are excited to work together to provide a world-class experience to our fans.”
Also commenting on the new partnership, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for William Hill U.S., Dan Shapiro, added…
“We are proud of this creative partnership that benefits our customers and our partners nationwide while promoting legalized wagering on NBA events. The NBA has been a leader in recognizing the benefits of a legal sports betting market. We expect this to be the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the league and its teams.”
Fourth alignment for NBA:
Hill joins The Stars Group, FanDuel and MGM Resorts, becoming the fourth sportsbook operator to ink a betting partnership with the professional basketball league.
William Hill reportedly told sports betting industry news site Sports Handle that the new partnership is a “seven-figure deal.”
Interest in sports betting has skyrocketed since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018. Now, the NBA appears to be all-in having entered into a myriad of deals inclduing those with British online sports games developer Highlight Games Limited, Australian online sports betting platform, BetEasy, Spanish gaming company, Codere SA (CDR:MCE) and other notables.
It wasn’t too long ago when the league was vehemently opposed to the legalization of sports betting, with former NBA Commissioner David Stern leading the pack of those against it. When questioned in 2012 by lawyers representing New Jersey as part of the leagues’ lawsuit seeking to stop the state from instituting sports gambling, Stern reportedly said…
…”The one thing I’m certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two, and they don’t care that it’s at our potential loss,” when asked how legalized sports betting would in the garden State would harm the NBA.
Just three years later, Stern told a forum in Manhattan that it was time to legalize sports betting in the U.S. He is quoted as saying, “I think [legalizing sports at the federal level] gives a way for states to make more money, for leagues to be compensated for their intellectual property, and for the federal government to take [away] illegally bet money and put it through the federal coffers.”
In 1991 Stern was among a group of powerful men who joined forces to petition a Senate subcommittee to stop the spread of the sports betting. Those efforts resulted in PASPA being enacted by the 102nd United States Congress on October 28, 1992.
William Hill U.S. domination:
Hill has, since the high court’s decision in 2018, led sports betting’s expansion in the U.S. and currently operates in 10 states. One out of every four bets that are placed in the U.S. is done so via the company.
In March this year, the sportsbook operator penned another strategic agreement when it became the official sportsbetting partner for the National Hockey League (NHL).
In other recent news, the owner of Washington, D.C’s Capital One Arena and D.C.’s Capitals, Wizards and Mystics, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, announced on Thursday that it is partnering with William Hill U.S. to create the country’s first sportsbook at a professional sports venue.
While the exact timetable is still unknown, construction of the William Hill Sports Book at Capital One Arena is expected to start once regulatory approvals have been satisfied, which according to signs at Capital One Arena, will be sometime in the coming year, according to WTOP.