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— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on August 2, 2018, Thursday.
It has been previously reported that in May this year the US Supreme Court ruled that the sports betting ban was unconstitutional, laying an important foundation for the legalization of the US sports betting industry. Previously, everyone speculated that which professional league will be the first mover? Now the answer is revealed, NBA made the first step. This answer is beyond the expectations of many people, but it is also reasonable. In fact, in January of this year, NBA has developed a set of rules to provide a basis for promoting the legalization of sports betting throughout the United States.
After the Supreme Court overturned the sports gambling ban, it actually should within the expectation that NBA now cooperates with the gaming giant MGM International.
[Jim Murren, MGM Resorts CEO] "We are paying a fee for data, for analytics, for brands, we are the official sponsorship of NBA."
According to sports media ESPN, they reached a three years contract that worth at least $25 million. In fact, this figure is actually a small amount compared with the annual income of the NBA, because the NBA earned about $6.5 billion in 2017-2018.
According to the forecast data from Forbes, in 2019, the US sports industry will reach $79 billion. The volume of sports betting is expected to reach 150 billion US dollars. Once the cooperation between the two parties proves to be successful, because the contract is not exclusive, the NBA can also reach similar agreements with other gaming companies, and the alliance can attract more sponsors of the gaming industry. It is worth noting that, prior to this cooperation, the NBA proposal showed that it hoped to get 1% of all NBA-related betting stakes, and this idea was strongly opposed by the gaming industry at that time.
But it is not excluded that as the market matures, the NBA will get bigger and bigger cakes in the commercial effect. At the same time, this practice has also caused a lot of controversy in the sports industry, and many of the fans also against the combination of sports and gambling, fearing that it will affect the fairness.
Meanwhile, as the states have liberalized sports betting, the industry has called for legislation at the US federal level. For example, in Europe, there is already a well-established regulatory mechanism with a comprehensive set of public accounting inquiries and taxation and rebate legal systems to ensure transparency and fairness throughout the system.
[Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner] "All the operators we've been in business with, the palms, the casears, with MGM, with the Wynn, they all want to see integrity across the business. It's like US meets other leagues. We dont gain a competitor advantage if theres an issue with the referree, an official or another, I think intergrity is something we all focus on. throughout the industry."
On a global scale, it is not uncommon for sports leagues and sports teams to work with gaming companies. In the UK, for example, more than 50% of the market sponsorships in the 2016-2017 Premier League are related to gaming. In some European football club jerseys, there are also trademarks of gaming companies.
Therefore, for the United States, legal sports betting just begun; we can also foresee that there will be more sports leagues to join the first mover team. The market will be further completed.