NBA expands gambling footprint amidst seven-figure partnership with sports book William Hill

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
The NBA announced a partnership with sports book operator William Hill on Wednesday. (Seyllou/Getty Images)
The NBA announced a partnership with sports book operator William Hill on Wednesday. (Seyllou/Getty Images)

A little over a year after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the NBA continues to invest in the sports gambling arena.

The league announced a partnership with sports book William Hill in a press release on Wednesday, which will make the London-based bookmaker the fourth authorized sports betting operator of the NBA.

William Hill joins MGM Resorts, FanDuel and The Stars Group as official partners.

William Hill is one of the biggest bookmakers in the US. According to the press release, one if four bets placed in the US go through William Hill, and the company already has operations in 10 states. The NHL also partnered with William Hill in March.

While exact terms of the agreement were not announced, Bill King of Sports Business Journal reports that it’s worth seven figures. As a comparison, the league’s agreement with MGM was expected to reach at least $25 million. William Hill will crucially get access to official betting data from the league, while the NBA will get a cut of their bets based on volume, a “royalty” of sorts for use of its intellectual property.

The NBA has taken steps to making gambling easier

The NBA Board of Governors convened in September and announced a series of new rules. The anti-tampering rules got most of the headlines, along with a clarification on the traveling rule, which could affect James Harden’s new three-point shot. But an underreported rule change involved teams setting lineups earlier.

Teams now have to send their starting lineups to the league 30 minutes before the opening tip — 20 minutes earlier than the previous deadline. That was done to increase transparency to fans and opposing coaches, but also bettors.

Plenty of front office members had the same reaction, per Action Network: “It’s about gambling. All of it.” As we head into this brave new world of sports gambling, expect even more rule changes in the name of more gambling and a larger cut of money for leagues.

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