Earlier this week, MGM Resorts became the official gaming partner of the NBA. The partnership gives the MGM Resorts the right to use official NBA (and WNBA) league logos and other marketing considerations.
Through this deal, MGM Resorts also has a non-exclusive deal to use official league data across their sports betting platforms. Other casino operators might be able to pay the NBA for the use of the data, but they won’t be able to pay the NBA for the marketing that comes as part of this deal.
But here’s why this is big for MGM: The official NBA data will reach MGM Resorts and any other casino company that has access BEFORE unofficial data. Additionally, MGM Resorts will have access to the NBA’s Second Spectrum data. The latter was divulged during the Q & A session after the official press conference.
MGM Resorts hasn’t said how they’ll use the data from the NBA since announcing the partnership. They keep on touting how in-play betting is the future and how this deal will help them be top of the pack. Unfortunately, MGM Resorts lacks specific examples.
MGM Resorts is only pointing to their recent joint venture with GVC as a way to improve their sports betting technology. In theory, this should make the in-play wagering available from MGM Resorts better than other sportsbook operators.
Until we see something tangible from MGM Resorts, anything you see is all just words. Right now anyone saying this deal is meaningful or meaningless is just guessing. Since we’re all just guessing, let’s think about how the official data from the NBA could make betting with MGM Resorts properties especially better.
- Official Data: There are way more NBA statistics available than most people know. Sports bettors do not have access to wager on much of this data anywhere in the United States. The potential for prop bets and in-play is huge. Of course, MGM Resorts and GVC have to use the data to make new and unique wagering opportunities available.
- Faster Data: The feeds that exist for in-play wagering are fairly quick already. A bettor might be able to reconcile a wager a few seconds early. Perhaps MGM Resorts will find a way to make this more useful to gamblers.
- Second Spectrum Data: This company tracks NBA players unlike anyone else. You see a lot of their data used on ESPN (see video about halfway down the page). Like the official NBA stats this data could offer MGM Resorts access to create some unique wagering options that you can only play at their casino/sportsbook.
Wait and see
The NBA doesn’t even have a schedule yet, so be patient. The season should begin around the middle of October. MGM Resorts has just over two months to figure out what they’re going to do with all of this data that they have access to. Let’s see if they use the data to improve the gambling or if there’s something else going on with this deal.