The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) starts next week in Las Vegas. Some major discussions on sports betting highlight the event during the Sports Betting Symposium (SBS) at the Sands Expo Convention Center adjacent to the Venetian/Palazzo Resort Hotels & Casino.
The G2E, presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA), is the largest gathering of global, commercial and tribal gaming professionals in North America. As I’ve attended in recent years, it’s also become a major conference for the sports betting industry with new educational content and sessions as part of the Sports Betting Symposium.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Sports and Gaming Partnerships Take Main Stage at the Global Gaming Expo with a wide-ranging discussion on the convergence of sports and betting led by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman. He’s joined by leading gaming industry executives and CEO’s Joe Asher of William Hill US, Matt King of FanDuel and Greg Carlin of Rush Street Gaming.
“Executive Viewpoints” is a discussion of new business partnerships and the executives viewpoints on the evolving sports-gaming relationship and the current and future value of new business partnerships.
“With so many new partnerships between leagues, teams and gaming entities, it will be invaluable to hear the insights of our converging industries represented on a single stage,” said American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller.
Attendees will learn more about:
- How the gaming industry changed the perception of betting on sports for a league commissioner.
- Understanding how multiple partnerships benefit everyone.
- How leagues approach and evaluate business deals with operators and technology companies.
- Determining the value to an operator of striking deals with sports leagues.
- The fan acquisition and engagement opportunity on-line and offline as a result of sports betting.
I spoke with William Hill US Chief Executive Officer Joe Asher last week in Las Vegas. Earlier this month, William Hill became an official betting partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). William Hill will gain access to exclusive NBA official betting data and be able to use the NBA logo on its advertising campaigns, mobile and desktop sportsbooks and its various social media channels. William Hill will also help the NBA with integrity monitoring systems to identify any suspicious betting activity on NBA games. You will see more William Hill sportsbook branding through the NBA website, digital assets and social media channels.
In March, William Hill formed a similar strategic partnership agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) after previously partnering with the Vegas Golden Knights and New Jersey Devils.
“Commissioner Bettman and his team at the NHL have been at the forefront of understanding the opportunities to engage fans through sports betting,” Asher said.
The NBA and NHL have been league leaders in embracing legal sports betting since the federal ban in May, 2018. Longtime NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said “You either evolve or you become extinct,” at a sports betting summit in March this year, and has led the way for leagues to adapt to the evolving legal sports betting landscape in the United States.
Sports betting has seen rapid expansion across the U.S. with 13 states currently offering sports betting and many more jurisdictions considering it nationally. There will be a record-number of G2E exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge sports betting products and the latest developments in gaming technology.
But William Hill has been an industry leader in expansion and strategic business partnerships. William Hill not only operates more than 100 race and sports books in Nevada, but is now running operations in New Jersey, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Indiana, New Mexico, Iowa and Panama.
The expansion and growth in building business partnerships and brand awareness for William Hill increased again in early October with the announcement that William Hill would become the exclusive sports betting partner of the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, all owned by Ted Leonsis. The innovative partnership formed a “new era in sports betting,” Asher said.
With the creation of the first sports book at a U.S. professional sports venue, William Hill Sports Book and Capital One Arena are looking to set an industry-wide precedent for fan engagement.
“This sports book will be a flagship venue for the industry and will serve the sports fans of the Washington D.C. area unlike any other,” Asher said. “Partnering with Ted Leonsis and the entire Monumental team was ideal. They share our vision and principles for bringing innovative sports betting opportunities to fans in a responsible way. This deal sets a new benchmark for how the industry will serve fans and how fans engage in sports.”
Upon receipt of all regulatory approval, William Hill will build out a new sportsbook inside Capital One Arena. Asher told me mobile betting will be allowed inside the arena. The sportsbook will be accessible to the public from F Street and inside the arena, and also offer full service food and beverage. No official timetable is set due to licensing and regulatory approval, but Asher confirmed architects have been engaged in discussions and superintendents are onsite for the multi-million dollar project that could be opening later next year.
Sports betting fosters engagement, as wagering creates more interest and reason to watch a game. Fans care more with a bet on the game.
Asher added, “not everyone who watches a game is betting, but most everyone betting is watching.”
Especially with in-play betting and the additional revenue and engagement opportunities it provides. That’s what the leagues are counting on to develop more interest, engagement and fan support with more partnerships and technology advancements in the game. In-play betting opportunities keep fans interest in a game even when the outcome is no longer in doubt.
The sports betting expansion across the U.S. and industry changes are happening rapidly. But it took many years for New Jersey to win the fight for sports betting legalization, and now other states can benefit. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a vocal advocate for legal sports betting who led the effort to overturn the federal ban (PASPA), will deliver a keynote address at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
“New Jersey was a trailblazer in paving the way for other states to have a say in whether they want to allow sports betting, and I am honored to have had a role in it,” said Gov. Chris Christie. “More than a year after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, it’s just as important as ever that stakeholders continue to collaborate to make the legal, regulated sports betting marketplace more robust and available to consumers.”
The interest in sports betting is growing. So are sports betting business partnerships and strategies. The Global Gaming Expo and Sports Betting Symposium provides more industry insights and opportunities to get in the game.
You can bet on it.