This now makes MGM a partner of the MLB, NHL, and NBA as sports gambling continues its fight.
When it was announced that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred would make a major gaming announcement on Tuesday, many people thought it may involve the MLB embracing gambling.
MGM has continued its aggressive approach since sports gambling has garnered increased acceptance recently. They now have deals with three of the four major sports leagues, leaving only the NFL.
It is probably unlikely for the NFL to partner with MGM as they will probably want to handle their gambling themselves. Regardless, this latest deal with the MLB signifies the continued changing times. Sports gambling used to be taboo, especially for the leagues and teams themselves. However, these same organizations are embracing the idea and are going to profit from it.
The MLB is very hopeful that its slower pace of play will benefit them the most for gambling. All of the down time will provide more opportunities for people to place bets on games and plays. Imagine how many different bets you could make throughout a 9 inning baseball game? Or what about one like game 3 of this year's World Series? For those of you who don't remember, that game went 18 innings and lasted almost seven and a half hours.
Baseball's lack of a time limit and slower pace could become a bet in and of itself. It's not so crazy to imagine people betting the over/under on the length of a game. Prop bets are tremendously popular and baseball is the perfect sport for it.
Perhaps the most valuable and highest-potential area of the deal between MGM and the MLB is the signage and opportunities for use both on-site and off-site. The MLB has their flagship phone app which could add live betting. Additionally, the league could utilize on-site live gambling as a way to help increase interest--particularly among the younger generations.
With so many casinos, bookies, and other gambling services, the sports world is about to change completely.
1.) While this doesn't really help non-gambling companies in terms of their sponsorship efforts, it does require them to answer the question of if they want to be associated with teams that embrace gambling.
2.) Up until now, sponsorship in sports has rarely had gambling companies involved. With the recent turn of events, a new industry is entering the foray.
3.) This also opens up the opportunity for brands to sponsor the live gambling for sporting events rather than the even themselves.
Written by: James Campbell
James Campbell is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with his B.A. in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey. - @Jimmy10Campbell