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US major leagues could earn $4.2bn from betting

| By iGB Editorial Team
AGA report calls for industry to work together with leagues

The four major US sports leagues could earn a collective $4.2bn (£3.2bn/€3.7bn) extra per year if they are able to work with the gaming industry on widespread, legal sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Figures from the AGA and Nielsen Sports show that revenue for the MLB baseball league could increase by $1.1bn, while the NBA basketball organisation could be set for an additional $585m in revenue.

Nielsen Sports said legalised betting could attract greater interest in both of the competitions, which could in turn lead to increased revenue from media rights, sponsorship, merchandise and ticket sales.

The latest report comes after the AGA and Nielsen Sports previously suggested that the NHL ice hockey league could benefit by over $200m per year should it fully embrace legal sports betting, while the NFL American football league may see its revenue climb by $2.3bn per year – more than half the total figure.

Sara Slane, senior vice-president of public affairs for the AGA, said: “The four major sports leagues will earn a collective $4.2bn from widely available legal sports betting, further proving that working together with the gaming industry will pay dividends for all sports stakeholders.

“Legal sports betting will also create substantial opportunities for state and local economies, generating tax revenue, jobs and supporting small businesses across the country.”

The AGA confirmed to iGamingBusiness.com that these figures do not include revenue from any so-called 'integrity fees'.

Leagues have held talks with regulators around the country over a proposal to include integrity fees as part of state or federal sports betting laws. However, since the repeal of PASPA and the subsequent legalisation of sports wagering by various states, no jurisdictions have yet committed to this fee.

Kentucky lawmakers this week said they would consider an integrity fee as part of potential sports betting laws, while New York has been linked with a similar move.

Away from the mooted integrity fee, leagues and teams are finding other ways to benefit from sports betting and are working to secure partnerships with gambling companies. In the summer, the NBA became the first US sports league to strike such a deal when it entered into a partnership with MGM.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has since stated his desire for the league to follow suit, while franchise the Vegas Golden Knights has agreed a deal with William Hill US.

Image: Nicolas Raymond

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