BetMGM capped a successful year growing its global sports betting product by agreeing on an extension to an existing partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) as 2024 drew to a close.
First signing up with the world’s premier hockey competition in 2018, the joint sportsbook joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain unveiled exciting plans to continue as an official betting and gaming partner of the NHL.
BetMGM became the first ever sportsbook to link up with the NHL five years ago. The agreement allowed BetMGM to use NHL branding on their social media and online platforms as well as sponsoring hockey events and engaging with fans.
Since then, BetMGM has developed an extensive menu of live-streamed NHL games and hockey wagering types. This includes pre-game, in-play, same-game parlay and props betting markets which have helped the brand become one of the best NHL sportsbooks in NY and across the country.
The latest expanded deal, announced December 19, will enable BetMGM to enhance its NHL offer as the CEO of the self-styled ‘King of Sports’, Adam Greenblatt, described:
“Our partnership extension with the NHL enables us to enhance the BetMGM product and offer fans unforgettable entertainment built around the game they love… We look forward to bringing our customers exceptional live experiences and new content.”
Greenblatt continued to promise new specialized VIP fan experiences for rink fans and NHL-themed casino games. Earlier in December, BetMGM launched NHL Gold Blitz, the first-ever slot game endorsed by the North American hockey league
That new 6x4 slot game followed BetMGM’s successful development of other NHL-branded casino favorites including roulette, blackjack and baccarat. It’s expected that BetMGM will further develop its hockey gaming experiences by delivering content themed around some of the most popular NHL teams.
Sports fans in the Empire State can anticipate more features focusing on the New York Rangers as BetMGM has partnered with the Madison Square Garden-based franchise since November 2021.
2023 was a successful one for BetMGM as the brand moved into profitability for the first time. Much of the growth enjoyed by MGM Resorts' during the year was powered by sports betting and iGaming.
The BetMGM sports betting app was relaunched in the fall with the company consistently declaring a target of 20% to 25% year-on-year growth. Despite this, BetMGM has stubbornly been stuck on a market share of around 18% across the US.
In terms of New York and what’s to come in 2024, plenty of existing betting and gaming operators will be keenly keeping an eye on the legislative landscape. Online casinos are still not permitted in the state but movement is expected this year.
Sen. Joe Abbaddo said recently he expected to spearhead a fresh push to introduce online casino gaming in New York within the next 12 months. A retake on the state’s huge 51% tax rate on mobile sports betting could also be on the cards.
MGM Resorts also recently introduced impressive plans for a new casino and leisure complex at Empire City Resort complete with a refurbished gaming floor and a 5,000-capacity venue. The development is likely to be conditional on the company being successful in securing one of three upcoming casino licenses in downstate New York.
However, it’s clear that MGM Resorts will not be throwing all its cards on the table in focusing on chips, cards, slots and roulette wheels.
This latest agreement with the NHL demonstrates BetMGM’s committed strategy of growing its sports presence to enhance the overall entertainment brand.
As new competitors arrive into existing US gambling markets - not least Fanatics and the Penn Entertainment backed ESPN BET - BetMGM’s ability to leverage its competitive edge on all fronts, be it online betting, iGaming or bricks-and-mortar properties, may yet see off smaller operators while taking on fresh arrivals with their big budgets and ambitions.