On Wednesday, the NBA announced it had signed a deal making William Hill US an Authorized Sports Betting Operator of the league. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Hills will be allowed to use official NBA betting data and trademarks in its US land-based and mobile sportsbooks.
The NBA will promote Hills across the league’s digital assets, including NBA.com, the league’s mobile app and social media platforms. Both parties have also vowed to collaborate to protect the integrity of NBA games, because the league was apparently doing nothing in this field until a few years ago when it began (unsuccessfully) lobbying states to include an ‘integrity’ fee in their betting legislation.
The two parties did their usual mutual backslapping, with the NBA’s ‘head of fantasy and gaming’ Scott Kaufman-Ross calling Hills “a globally respected brand that has set an early standard for sports betting in the US market,” while William Hill US VP Dan Shapiro called the NBA “a leader in recognizing the benefits of a legal sports betting market.”
The NBA has indeed been the most aggressive of the major North American sports leagues in inking deals with betting operators, having signed pacts with the FanDuel Group, The Stars Group and its Australian wagering brand BetEasy, casino operator MGM Resorts, Spanish operator Codere’s Mexican division, French lottery and betting operator Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) and Uruguay’s state-run gambling monopoly Supermatch.
On a side note, Wednesday’s deal also makes some weird reference to Hills being a ‘Proud Partner’ (capitalization in the NBA’s original text) of the league. That got us wondering how much money Hills might have saved had it opted for the less prestigious status of Occasionally Willing To Publicly Admit Being A Partner, the even less expensive Deeply Mortified At Ever Having Been A Partner or the bargain basement I Wouldnae Do Her With Yours, Partner.