Being a team in the National Hockey League (NHL) that is located in a state where sports betting is legal has its advantages. The New Jersey (NJ) Devils anticipate picking up as much as $5 million through a series of partnerships that the team has planned. NJ is one of only a small handful of states that has legalized sports gambling since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and one of only two that has major professional teams.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Devils President Hugh Weber said that his team, which calls Newark, NJ, home, will earn that amount in the upcoming season after it entered into agreements with several area casinos and local sports books. Weber stated, “Being the only (NHL) team in New Jersey gives us a huge advantage.” He added, “We see sports betting as additive to the experience for our fans. There’s a lot on the horizon.”
The sports gambling industry is still extremely new—it is only now barely beginning to crawl. However, deals like that seen by the Devils will certainly be seen across all major sports leagues and will catch on fast. The anticipated repeal of PASPA in the first quarter of this year had state legislators, sports executives and casino operators all anxiously waiting for the court’s decision in order to legally step into the sports gambling industry.
There have also been a few new combination of sports and gambling seen, although not of the same type as the Devils deals. In July, the NBA signed an agreement with MGM Resorts that would make the casino operator its official sports gambling partner and, only last week, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys inked a deal that will see it become sponsored by Oklahoma’s WinStar World Casino & Resort. Coincidentally, sports gambling is still illegal in the Cowboys’ home state of Texas, as well as in Oklahoma.
While the Devils expect to attract $5 million, the NFL could receive bigger rewards. A recent study commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA) indicated that the league could earn as much as $2.3 billion a year from bets and other money streams, like sponsorships.