The Vegas Golden Knights have helped to fuel a betting revolution taking place in the NHL. They launched two seasons ago, at the start of the 2017-18 season at a time when Nevada was still the only place where you could legally bet on sports in the United States.
Getting that kind of exposure in a gambling market has helped endear bettors to the sport as Keith Wachtel, Chief Business Officer and Executive Vice President of the NHL reports that the hockey betting handle is up over 100% in the two years since Vegas began playing in the league.
It was just one step in many things to go right for NHL sports bettors. Another big thing of course was that at the end of that first season the US Supreme Court reversed the prohibition that was preventing other states from legalizing gambling.
Eight other states have since passed laws with up to two dozen more looking to do the same and with it has come the culture shift. All of a sudden betting lines are appearing in print, TV and digital media across the landscape. New shows are popping up as well and with has come a growing acceptance of sports betting as a natural part of the sports world.
The NHL has recognized this opportunity as a way to help grow the game and so they’ve decided to be at the forefront of the revolution currently underway.
The league has already brought on three major betting establishments as sponsors for the league, including FanDuel, William Hill and MGM Resorts. And as Wachtel reports, the NHL, “continues to drive its aim of providing an innovative and sustainable betting landscape going forward.”
The next step for the NHL is to up the fan engagement experience. In fact that is exactly what their goal is in their partnerships with industry leaders.
“We’re focused on being at the forefront of innovation and developing technology – including our puck and player tracking product – which provide more data and tremendous insights to the game”
Wachtel was speaking ahead of the upcoming ICE VOX North America Conference which is a gathering meant to network, explore, and plan for the future around the emerging possibilities as the regulatory landscape of sports betting in America takes shape.
He’ll be part of a panel that is bringing together leaders from sports and gaming across both industries. That will include representatives from Bet.Works, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Vegas Golden Knights.