The NBA is arguably the most progressive sports league when it comes to legal sports betting. The league has already partnered with three sportsbook operates to date, including Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and The Stars Group.
Now the start of the NBA season is less than three weeks away and the World’s top league for professional basketball has added a fourth official sportsbook partner. In addition to the previous three, the NBA is now partnered with William Hill.
Through their agreement, William Hill now has permission to use logos and official betting data from the NBA. On the other side of things, the NBA will also actively promote the brand of William Hill on all online platforms they engage with.
This should be an extremely symbiotic deal considering the rising popularity of the NBA and the widespread presence of William Hill. Of all sports bets made in the U.S., roughly 25% of them are placed through William Hill.
William Hill’s Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Dan Shapiro, has indicated that the company is only seeking relationships in which both parties benefit. While there is certainly no surprise that the NBA is looking for more legal sports betting partners, it is interesting that both parties could come to an agreement.
Adam Silver, Commissioner for the NBA, has been adamant in his stance that sportsbook operates absolutely should pay a royalty to the league. He believes this because the NBA is planning to spend $8 billion to create intellectual property. However, Silver does not believe that the royalty should be a percentage of total profits. This would give off the impression that the NBA would benefit from specific outcomes happening for a game.
For William Hill, their CEO, Joe Asher, is hesitant when it comes to paying royalty fees. He holds this opinion because royalties increase the operating cost for sportsbooks that are operating legally. As a result, illegal sports betting has a clear advantage here because they have far less expenses.
It is important to know that the deal between William Hill and the NBA does not include any royalty fees. Dan Shapiro also mentions that the sportsbook has found a different way of providing compensation for the NBA’s intellectual property.
As a final note, both parties will do their due diligence to help protect the integrity of both legal sports wagering and NBA games. Positive agreements such as this one serve to strengthen the purity of the legal sports betting market and can set an example for other sports leagues to follow.