Major League Baseball has jumped into the gaming arena, partnering with MGM Resorts International on a multi-year agreement.
The deal calls for MGM Resorts to utilize baseball’s official statistics feed throughout its sports betting operations, as well as feature enhanced baseball statistics on an exclusive basis. The two companies will work together on “comprehensive responsible gaming measures” in an effort to protect the integrity of the game both on and off the field, according to officials from both companies.
“We have proceeded in exploring this opportunity cautiously and thoughtfully – always with an eye on preserving the integrity of our sport,” said MLB commissioner Robert Manfred said during a Tuesday press conference announcing the deal. “We concluded that MGM was the perfect partner for us.”
The deal comes as a result of a May Supreme Court decision allowing state-sponsored sports betting on professional sports. Since the ruling, New Jersey, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania have opened up sports betting operations, according to ESPN.
With the deal, Major League Baseball joins the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League in partnering with MGM.
Manfred said during the press conference that research has shown that sports betting on baseball games could be an important source of fan engagement. “We operate in a very competitive environment and we have to take advantage of every opportunity to drive engagement by our fans,” he said. “There’s been a huge change in public opinion within the legal framework surrounding sports gaming that has presented an opportunity for all sports, and baseball in particular.”
MGM will serve as an official sponsor of MLB and have a branding presence in baseball’s biggest events, including the World Series and All-Star game. The MGM brand will also be prevalent across MLB’s digital and broadcast platforms, including MLB Network, MLB.com and the MLB At Bat app.