Daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sportsbook giant DraftKings said Monday it inked a multi-year accord with the NBA that makes the company an “Authorized Sports Betting Operator” of the association.
As part of the agreement, the NBA is agreeing to share official wagering data with DraftKings, which the company will offer to bettors at its retail sportsbooks and via its online and mobile platforms. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
NBA games are among the most captivating, dramatic, and widely-consumed sports entertainment products globally, and the advocacy of the league around legal sports betting further demonstrates its consistent foresight to innovate for the betterment of the fan experience,” said Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer at DraftKings, in a statement.
Following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), the NBA has been among the quickest of the major domestic professional sports leagues to warm to legalized sports betting, and has consistently worked with gaming companies in an effort to bolster fan engagement.
For example, the association and William Hill last month signed a pact similar to the DraftKings deal announced today, under which the league will share relevant betting information with the British sportsbook operator. William Hill also gained the right to use NBA logos on its internet and mobile betting offerings.
Seizing In-Game Opportunities
A cornerstone of DraftKings’ accord with the NBA is capturing a bigger slice of an already burgeoning market: in-game, or live betting.
Also known as in-play bets, live wagering allows gamblers to invest in a contest after it’s started, typically with odds that differ from the pre-game lines. In a hypothetical example, the New York Knicks are playing the Los Angeles Lakers with a pre-tip off over/under of 210 points.
The two teams combine for just 35 points in the first quarter and as a result, sportsbook then slash the total by 20 or 25 points to more accurately reflect the pace of the game, giving gamblers an opportunity to make new bets based on real-time action.
Data confirm that DraftKings customers place in-play bets on the NBA more they do on any other sport.
“Live betting, a critical component of sports betting technology and the future of the industry, is more prevalent on DraftKings Sportsbook for the NBA than any other sport—over 70 percent of NBA bettors have live-wagered, while nearly 45 percent of NBA handle has come from in-play bets,” according to the company.
In-Game And Mobile: An Ideal Marriage
Gaming companies and sports leagues betting on live wagering as an avenue for increasing revenue and enhancing the fan experience aren’t just betting on more states embracing sports wagering.
Those entities are also wagering that online and mobile will continue gaining more share of the sports betting market and that more states will sign off on that.
Currently, 13 states permit sports betting, but not all permit mobile and online options. Delaware and New Mexico are among the states that only allow sports bets to be placed at brick-and-mortar locations. Conversely, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, among others, are homes to growing online sports wagering markets.
Live betting on mobile platforms is an ideal pairing, because due to the time constraints associated with these wagers, most gamblers aren’t likely to run to a physical sportsbook to place the bet.