The NBA has become the first major U.S. sports league to partner with a sportsbook operator as legal wagering begins to expand into new states.
On Tuesday, commissioner Adam Silver announced that the league struck a deal that makes MGM Resorts the exclusive official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA. MGM also receives the rights to use league highlights, logos and a direct data feed from the NBA that will be used to help fuel the company's growing sports betting footprint.
Industry sources pegged the deal to be for three years and at least $25 million.
Silver said teaming up with the NBA will give MGM an edge over its competitors and produce a superior experience for customers.
"Those operators who create the best experience for consumers that have official data, that have the official imprimatur of our league and other leagues as well, are going to be those that win in the hearts and minds of consumers," Silver said during an afternoon press conference in New York City to announce the partnership.
Jim Murren, CEO of MGM, sitting side by side with Silver, called the deal "historic."
"The foremost mission is to maintain and preserve the integrity of the game, the fan experience for the NBA fans, (and) in fact help catapult further the global presence of the NBA," Murren said. "As a global entertainment company, I feel MGM has an opportunity to partner with the NBA to do that."