The NBA hasn't been shy about aligning themselves with betting operators. On Wednesday, the league signed on with an 11th sportsbook when Australian-based PointsBet was named an Authorized Sports Betting Operator of the NBA. The NBA becomes the global sportsbook’s first American professional league partner in what has been termed a multi-year deal.
The partnership is just the latest in a slew of recent mutually beneficial deals between leagues and operators in the exploding US legal sports betting market. For PointsBet, they get increased exposure while the NBA gets another partnership – this one brings a new angle to the league.
What the deal means for PointsBet
Along with the partnership PointsBet gets access to official NBA data, to team and league logos and to the league’s official betting data feed. PointsBet will also provide some data of their own. It takes PointsBet’s brand beyond New Jersey and Iowa – the only two states that they have a presence at the current time. Any exposure in the blossoming US legal sports betting industry is a good thing; partnering with an iconic league with a global reach is a great thing.
"As a tech company at heart, the PointsBet team is excited to work with a league as savvy and forward-thinking as the NBA," said Johnny Aitken, CEO of PointsBet USA. "We're certainly aligned in looking to present fans with the best experience possible, and we look forward to enhancing the sports betting aspect via the Win Probability Metric Powered by PointsBet."
What the deal means for the NBA
It may seem that the NBA is simply covering all bases here but PointsBet will be bringing something unique to the table. Along with the usual sportsbook characteristics such as protecting the integrity of the game, it will “integrate the first-ever Win Probability Metric across certain NBA platforms, including on NBA.com and NBA social media channels,” according to a joint release. The plan is for the Win Probability Metric making its way onto network broadcasts of the games.
The Win Probability Metric is designed to give fans and bettors real-time insight toward projected outcomes of a game, thanks to cutting-edge analytics and stats that PointsBet already utilizes. Using analytics, the win probabilities will be adjusted as the ebb-and-flows of each game dictates.
"Given their unique positioning in the marketplace, it was very important to PointsBet to find a differentiated element to this partnership," said NBA Senior VP and Head of Fantasy & Gaming Scott Kaufman-Ross. "It’s going to be an experiment with them. I don’t think we’ve figured out all the elements. We want to see where it’s appropriate to integrate."
More than a dozen sports betting entities including MGM Resorts International, William Hill, Stars Group, Unibet, the Oregon Lottery Score Board, Tabcorp, BetEasy, Codere, Supermatch, theScore and two of the biggest US sportsbooks in the US as authorized sports betting partners of the NBA.
PointsBet’s promise for significant growth in 2020 is off to a good start with Wednesday’s announcement. Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan are slated to go live with PointsBet soon and an agreement with Penn National gives the company a pretty decent foothold into the US Betting market going forward.