NBA Signs International Deal with Fantasy Operator PlayON
Americans wagered an estimated $10.4 billion on March Madness last month and only a tiny fraction of it was in Las Vegas, per the American Gaming Association.
The NBA playoffs are now upon us and billions more are expected to change hands as the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers bid for glory.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver famously penned an opinion piece for the NY Times going on record that he supports a regulated sportsbook industry, so that the NBA and other leagues can make money by taxing what is believed to be a $400 billion a year market.
Daily Fantasy Sports Betting Sites
Daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel have capitalized on exemptions to federal law by offering their service in numerous US states, and have endeavoured to expand across the pond, though their UK business is reported as making very little difference to their bottom-line.
The two US based giants were dealt a blow as today the NBA announced a new deal with fantasy sports operator PlayON for international markets.
PlayON has long been focused on the UK market and has targeted Brits with DFS games on soccer, golf and cricket, while it has a similar deal in place with golf’s European Tour to the one it has signed with the NBA.
“Our partnership with PlayON provides us an opportunity to deepen our engagement with our international audience, and bring these fans closer to the game,” said Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President for Global Partnerships.
The move shows how keen the NBA is on broadening its global fan base and cashing in on a pastime millions already enjoy — fantasy sports betting contests that are graded by the performance of their star athletes.
Conventional Sportsbooks Still Rule the Roost
It remains to be seen whether the international market will take as much of a liking to fantasy sports betting contests on American sports as they have betting on games straight-up through bookmakers, both land-based and online sportsbooks. American punters meanwhile have less options to place a bet outside of Las Vegas so many take to finding well-rated betting sites through resources such as Sportsbook Review, which collects feedbacks from players on their experiences and reviews online gaming companies.