This week, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and The Stars Group (BetStars) announced a new multiyear gaming partnership. The Stars Group is now an authorized sports betting operator of the NBA in the US.
This partnership is the first for the Stars Group with a professional sports league in the US. As of this announcement, BetStars is only operating in New Jersey.
Inside the deal
The deal between the NBA and The Stars Group is similar the partnership the NBA and MGM Resorts International agreed on earlier this year. Here’s the part of the deal that should effect NBA bettors.
- The Stars Group has the right to use official NBA betting data and league marks across their digital sports betting offerings.
Additionally, both entities will help market each other.
The Stars Group will be promoted across the NBA’s digital assets including NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA social media platforms. In return, the NBA will be promoted across The Stars Group’s gaming platforms.
This deal will include BetStars in the US, and PokerStars, which operates the world’s most popular online poker sites outside of the US.
The bottom line with this deal is that the NBA is paid for their name and data while The Stars Group and BetStars get promotion from the league and official data.
Data Deals: BetStars vs. MGM Resorts
In theory, this partnership puts BetStars on the same level as MGM Resorts International. The online and mobile sportsbook operator now has a similar deal with the NBA that the major worldwide casino operator has.
The marketing is good for the NBA and The Stars Group, but it’s really not something that’s useful for sports bettors at this time. The league could implement some kind of wagering opportunities in their games but it doesn’t seem as though that’s a priority.
Data deals with professional leagues in the US have great potential for sportsbook operators. The speed and uniqueness of the information should allow sportsbook operators to improve their betting product. Unfortunately, MGM Resorts International hasn’t used the data to offer new gambling experiences just yet.
While the mammoth casino operator has been slow to act with their league data, BetStars should be nimble enough to shake up NBA betting in New Jersey. Smaller and focused companies can often move quickly.
A casino operator has the challenge of selling various channels at multiple properties. For example, MGM Resorts, as a company, is selling a casino, entertainment, dining, nightclubs, spas, etc.
To date, MGM Resorts is signing deals and not improving their sports betting product for customers. That should come in time.
Meanwhile, The Stars Group only offers gambling products. This limited scope should allow BetStars to find ways to use the NBA data sooner than later.
BetStars is already offering more pre-game NBA wagering options than some other sportsbook operators in the US. On Tuesday night, BetStars had as many as 75 ways to wager on the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets. For comparison, MGM Resorts had 11 pre-game options for the game.
Official data from the NBA should allow both BetStars and MGM Resorts to offer unique In-Play wagering opportunities that other sportsbooks don’t or won’t offer. Sports bettors are eagerly awaiting new ways to gamble on their favorite games.