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NBA cuts deal to share data with casino giant MGM Resorts

by Les Sillars
Posted 8/01/18, 12:11 pm

The NBA and WNBA will now share official data with MGM Resorts International, officials announced Tuesday, becoming the first major U.S. professional sports leagues to cut a deal with a casino. The agreement positions the leagues to cash in on the anticipated growth of sports betting across the country, but also crosses the decades-old line between pro sports and the gambling industry.

The Las Vegas–based casino giant will pay an undisclosed amount to the NBA for data to use in determining outcomes of various bets, and for the use of logos in branding and other materials. The NBA had for years resisted legalized sports betting because it elevates the risk that bettors or bookies will try to manipulate outcomes. The league argued that this deal will help gamblers and casinos get more accurate information, and help it monitor and investigate irregularities. “We’re very focused on integrity provisions to protect our fans, to protect those who choose to engage and bet on the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

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Les Sillars

Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., and is WORLD Magazine’s Mailbag editor.

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