New Jersey Devils Estimate $5 Million Boost From Sports Betting Deals
The National Hockey League (NHL) is the latest professional sports league to get on board with legal sports betting. The New Jersey Devils estimate that future sponsorships will bring in close to $5 million in additional revenue for the franchise.
Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils, revealed in an interview with Bloomberg TV that the team plans on partnering with bookmakers across the state. The Newark-based franchise will take advantage of the legal New Jersey sports betting made possible by the Supreme Court ruling in Murphy vs. NCAA.
“Being the only (NHL) team in New Jersey gives us a huge advantage,” stated Weber.
The franchise not only holds a monopoly of sorts in N.J. but is in a unique position in the overall legal sports betting market. Of the four states that have recently launched sports betting, New Jersey is the only one that has a professional sports team.
All of the teams that call Mississippi, West Virginia, or Delaware home are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
While the New Jersey Devils are the first NHL team to openly support sports betting, they are the third professional sports franchise to express interest in sportsbook and casino partnerships.
In July, the National Basketball Association led the way by signing MGM Resorts International as the league’s official sports betting sponsor in a deal estimated to be worth $25 million. Earlier this month, the Dallas Cowboys inked a deal with WinStar World Casino Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
To put the potential revenue to the NHL into perspective, a report from the American Gaming Survey cited that legal sports betting could potentially generate an additional $2.3 billion per year for the NFL. The viewership and overall value of the NHL are far less than professional football, making the $5 million figure a realistic estimate.
In fact, the smaller market is one of the reasons why NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has had a somewhat laissez-faire attitude toward the removal of the federal sports betting ban. Though the NHL was one of the plaintiffs in the New Jersey sports betting case, Bettman has expressed that the NHL is a different position than other sports leagues.
“Well, first of all, gambling for us is probably an entirely different focus than, say, football or basketball, either at the pro or at the college level,” stated Bettman. “We’re about one percent of the book. Our game doesn’t lend itself to gambling in the same way that football and basketball do.”
Now that sports gambling is no longer banned and each state can make the decision on regulation, the NHL looks to be following in the footsteps of other leagues that want to capitalize on the expansion of the market.
Judging from comments made by Commissioner Bettman after the Supreme Court ruling, the New Jersey Devils are just the first NHL franchise to begin their search for sports betting partners, with more teams expected to follow in the future.
“From our standpoint… we have important assets and if somebody is going to avail themselves or want to avail themselves of those assets in order to conduct their business, then we're going to need to have a negotiation.”
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