PointsBet-NHL Partnership Deepens League’s Investment In Legal Sports Betting

Written By Derek Helling on February 12, 2021 - Last Updated on February 15, 2021

There may not be a retail sportsbook at any of the hockey arenas in New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania, but that doesn’t mean the teams that play there don’t have an interest in legal sports betting. And a new PointsBet NHL partnership makes that interest very tangible.

The NHL is now a stockholder in the Australian gambling company, setting its teams up to potentially get revenue from PointsBet dividends. There are more implications for this deal that really was inevitable.

The details on the new PointsBet-NHL partnership

The terms of this deal are pretty simple. It’s a cross-promotional hookup for both parties. PointsBet gets even more exposure in content for NHL fans. That will include:

  • Broadcasts of live games
  • Digital real estate like the league’s social media channels and website
  • Pre- and post-game shows

In exchange, the NHL gets continued priority for markets and promos at the sportsbook. Of course, 43,106 shares of PointsBet on Australia’s exchange aren’t like a wide shot at the net. Based on the stock’s 20-day average value on Feb. 4, the equates to $500,000 USD.

For a league that usually brings in millions of dollars in revenues on an annual basis, that’s not really game-changing. However, the fact is that the NHL now stands to receive dividends from PointsBet stock. Whether and how it will divide that up among member franchises is unknown.

This isn’t the only gambling company that NHL owns stock in, though. It also bought 491,683 shares of DraftKings last year. This deal with PointsBet has a deeper meaning to it. That’s all because of a mutual friend of the two parties.

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NBC is the middleman in this relationship

To some degree, you could look at this like a couple who had already lived together and held a joint bank account for years finally getting legally married. From another point of view, this could be better described as a “thruple.”

NBC has been the primary broadcaster of the NHL for years. Last year, NBC and PointsBet partnered up. That deal put PointsBet’s brand in front of a lot of NHL fans already, without the explicit written consent of the league.

The volume of NHL content on NBC’s channels also gave PointsBet a natural incentive to book and promote NHL markets. Now, there’s even more reason to barrage NHL fans with PointsBet odds from every angle.

For example, you might see NBC commentators discuss movement on PointsBet odds during a Philadelphia Flyers game. By the way, PointsBet has the Flyers odds at +1700 to win the Stanley Cup Final this season.

The incorporation of NBC in this relationship is interesting in another way. Recently, NBC announced the creation of BetCast, a second-screen gambling-centric video experience on Peacock meant to be a companion for its live sports coverage.

Right now, NBC is focusing that on its golf coverage. However, there’s now a real reason to expand upon the product to include NHL games as well. Eventually, hockey fans may be able to access BetCast on Peacock during live games as well.

NHL games are about to become more of a vehicle to promote PointsBet. Conversely, the better that company fares, the better it is for the NHL and its franchises.

Photo by AP/Frank Franklin II
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist from Chicago. In addition to gaming news, he covers esports, sports business and sports law. When he isn’t writing, he spends his serving his two Munchkin cat overlords.

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