In the league’s latest move to embrace legal sports betting, the National Basketball Association (NBA) recently named online / mobile sportsbook DraftKings as an official partner.
A joint press release issued on November 4 confirmed that the Boston-based DraftKings has been tabbed as an “authorized sports betting partner” of the NBA.
As part of the multiyear deal – which begins effective immediately as part of the 2019-20 NBA season – DraftKings gains access to official league data, logos, and trademarks across its online / mobile sportsbook.
In return, the NBA will collaborate with DraftKings to develop “best in class practices to protect the integrity” of its games.
NBA Continues to Bolster Sports Betting Partnership Lineup
In adding DraftKings to its roster of authorized sports betting partners, the NBA supplements its growing stable of affiliated sportsbook operators.
The NBA has signed deals with FanDuel – DraftKings’ chief rival in both the daily fantasy sports (DFS) space and online / mobile sports betting – along with the U.K.-based William Hill, MGM Resorts’ Bet MGM platform.
In the aforementioned press release, Scott Kaufman-Ross – who serves as senior vice president and head of fantasy & gaming for the NBA – pointed to DraftKings’s experience in serving basketball bettors as a prime reason to become partners:
“We are excited to team with DraftKings, who has established itself as one of the leaders in the sports betting landscape in the U.S. and has a passionate NBA following.
Our partnership will provide our fans with an authentic and enhanced gaming experience and help us further protect the integrity of our games.”
Specifically, the NBA referenced DraftKings’ emphasis on live betting – or wagers placed while a game is taking place, with odds set in real time based on the current score and other conditions – as a motivating factor in linking up with the original DFS kingpin.
DraftKings Makes Further Inroads in North American Pro Sports
For several years following the company’s founding in 2012, DraftKings specialized exclusively in catering to DFS bettors.
But since May of 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decisive 6-3 ruling to repeal a federal ban on sports betting outside of Nevada, the company has increasingly moved to capitalize on that emerging market.
Following the NBA deal, DraftKings has nearly cornered the North American professional sports industry by forming similar authorized gaming operator partnerships with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL).
Since the Supreme Court paved the way for statewide sports betting regulation, the DraftKings Sportsbook has gone live in Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia.
Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer for DraftKings, framed the recent deal in terms of the NBA’s global scope given the league’s presence and programming in 215 countries worldwide:
“NBA games are among the most captivating, dramatic and widely-consumed sports entertainment products globally, and the advocacy of the league around legal sports betting further demonstrates its consistent foresight to innovate for the betterment of the fan experience.
The correlation between sports betting and fan engagement is proven, and we look forward to the opportunities that being an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA will unlock for consumers.”