NHL taps DraftKings as official U.S. sports betting partner

·2 min read
The National Hockey League (NHL) has teamed up with DraftKings (DKNG) as an official sports betting.
The National Hockey League (NHL) has teamed up with DraftKings as an official sports betting.

The National Hockey League (NHL) has teamed up with DraftKings (DKNG) as an official sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and iGaming partner south of the border.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, also includes a partnership between DraftKings and AT&T-owned (T) Turner Sports. Under the terms, the Boston-based sports betting firm will provide data and daily fantasy content across the broadcaster's digital and television networks, including the popular website Bleacher Report, for its NHL coverage. 

The NHL says it will grant DraftKings use of its official marks and logos. The company also gains access to the leagues "themed sweepstakes" and promotional efforts during the regular season and playoffs.

"As we embark on what promises to be a thrilling 2021-22 NHL season, our partnership with DraftKings, as well as with Turner Sports, will provide for new and exciting experiences to deepen our fan engagement," Keith Wachtel, NHL chief business officer and senior executive vice-president says in a news release.

Links between major leagues and digital sportsbooks are tightening in the U.S., as companies like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars Entertainment look to capture a growing audience of sports betting enthusiasts. That trio of companies struck a deal with the National Football League announced in April to become the official betting partners of that league. 

Betting on individual sporting events has exploded in popularity in parts of the U.S., following a 2018 court decision allowing states to regulate the activity.

In Canada, provincially-owned lottery corporations are currently the only place to make those types of wagers. Analysts predict Ontario, which has promised to open its doors to any competitor who can land a licence, will mirror U.S. states that have embraced single-sports betting, once regulators open up the market.

The NHL has not announced any official sports betting partners for Canada. Communications director Brad Klein told Yahoo Finance Canada on Wednesday that the league has 10 sports betting partners in total - seven in the U.S. and three internationally.

Those include BetMGM, FanDuel, William Hill/Caesars, PointsBet, Bally's and Betway in the U.S. (Disclosure: Yahoo Sports U.S. has a partnership with BetMGM in U.S. jurisdictions where single sports-betting is legal.) The league's other partners also include Tipsport (Czech Republic), OlyBet (Baltic Region), and Liga Stavok (Russia).

DraftKings shares climbed 1.95 per cent to $49.90 as at 12:50 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The stock is up 5.11 per cent year-to-date.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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