AGA Says NHL Stands To Earn $216 Million Thanks To Legal Sports Betting

Posted By Kim Yuhl on October 4, 2018 - Last Updated on February 8, 2021

The American Gaming Association (AGA) continues to educate people in New Jersey and across the US about the revenue potential of legalized sports betting.

In its latest press release, the AGA said the National Hockey League (NHL) stands to add $216 million to its bottom line because of the activity.

AGA advocates for legalized sports betting

The AGA is an advocate for regulated and legalized sports betting. The association commissioned Nielsen Sports to analyze the nascent industry to help people understand its impact. The impact of sports betting on the NHL and other major sports leagues is just one part of the study.

Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association, discussed the impact of the study:

“Today’s announcement reaffirms that legal, regulated sports betting will create significant new revenue opportunities for sports leagues. Much like the NHL’s recent successful expansion into Las Vegas, legal sports betting will continue to expand across the country, bringing with it a $216 million opportunity for the league.”

The study credits increased fan engagement for the boost in revenue. Enthusiastic fans buy more tickets and jerseys. Additionally, more fans translate into more media and sponsorship deals.

The leagues are not the only ones to benefit either. Sportsbooks, like the 16 now available in the NJ sports betting market, stand to rake in $65 million in revenue, according to the study.

Sports betting sharing the wealth

On the surface, it appears legal sports betting is sharing the wealth. Leagues, sportsbooks, and states stand to profit from what may soon become America’s favorite past time.

However, one league sets its sights on more. Even though the study expects the National Football League (NFL) to grow by $2.3 billion a year, the NFL isn’t satisfied.

Recently, the NFL testified in front of Congress campaigning for federal sports betting regulations. The move seems to be the latest attempt by the NFL to secure integrity fees and the mandatory purchase of league data by sportsbooks.

The AGA was also on hand to testify. Slane, speaking on behalf of the AGA, came out strongly against such a move:

“AGA does not believe an additional layer of federal regulatory oversight is needed at this time. Just as Congress has refrained from regulating lotteries, slot machines, table games and other gambling products, it should leave sports betting oversight to the states and tribes that are closest to the market.”

The NBA and NHL setting the sponsorship standard

For now, to understand the power of sponsorships, look at the New Jersey Devils, the Vegas Golden Knights, and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The NBA and MGM International forged the first significant partnership in July. Under the agreement, MGM will have co-branding opportunities with the NBA as its official betting partner.

In September, the NHL’s latest darling, the Vegas Golden Knights cemented a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with William Hill US.

Joe Asher, the chief executive officer of William Hill US, shared his vision for the partnership with the Sports Business Journal.

“We hope people will be sitting at T-Mobile [Arena] and betting between periods. Frankly, we know they do that already. We’re hoping to be able to get more people to our site because the brand will be right there in front of them.”

By all accounts, New Jersey Devils President Hugh Weber shares that vision. In an interview with Bloomberg, Weber estimates his organization will see around $5 million in partnership deals with local casinos and sportsbooks.

“We see sports betting as an additive to the experience for our fans,” said Weber. “There’s a lot on the horizon.”

More sports betting partnerships are sure to come

To say there is “a lot on the horizon” is an understatement. It has been nearly five months since the Supreme Court opened the door for legalized sports betting.

The latest agreements between the leagues and sportsbooks and casinos are just the beginning. With the NHL season just underway and the NBA in pre-season, it seems likely some new partnerships will surface.

The NFL, however, has yet to embrace this new reality and appears to be hoping for some sort of federally mandated revenue stream. Slane addressed the NFL’s position when the AGA released the billion-dollar figure the NFL stands to gain:

“So much time has been spent on talk over integrity fees. We think these numbers are conservative and show that the league is frankly tripping over dollars to pick up pennies.”

Image credit: Jai Agnish /

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Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl has been covering the US online gambling market since 2013. Her work is featured on various sites and covers sports betting, online casino gambling, and online poker. Kim is a full-time traveler and vlogger and is currently slow traveling to 60 countries. You can follow her travels at and on YouTube at kimandway.

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