Detroit Red Wings, BetMGM Renew Partnership Ahead Of Michigan Sports Betting Launch

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BetMGM isn’t on thin ice with the Detroit Red Wings.

The sports betting operator and the Detroit Red Wings announced Wednesday that they have renewed and expanded their “strategic partnership” for gambling. The MGM Grand Detroit casino is currently home to retail sports wagering, with the BetMGM mobile app expected to launch in the Wolverine State as early as December.

As part of the multi-year deal, BetMGM will continue to have an on-ice logo at Little Caesars Arena, along with signage, fan promotions, and a sponsored presence on the Red Wings’ digital platforms. The District Detroit mobile app for visitors to the arena will also feature the BetMGM Stats Module, providing hockey fans access to betting odds and statistics. The BetMGM mobile app will be separate from the District Detroit mobile app.

The next NHL season is expected to begin in early 2021.

“Little Caesars Arena is just steps away from the BetMGM Sports Lounge at MGM Grand Detroit, and as BetMGM continues to build its hockey offerings, we look forward to welcoming Red Wings fans before and after games,” BetMGM Chief Marketing Officer Matt Prevost said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It’s a small part of more than $200 million worth of annual revenue gains the NHL is expected to realize from legalized sports wagering, according to a 2018 analysis by the American Gaming Association.

Outlook for upcoming NHL season

The upcoming NHL season has yet to be officially hashed out.

“The goal is still to start as early as Jan. 1 and to play a full season,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said earlier this month in a league press release. “Having said that, we also recognize, depending on a host of different things, that it could take a different form and we might not be playing a full season, we might not be playing into the summer, we might not be starting on Jan. 1. So there’s still a lot of uncertainty.”

Hockey trails far behind the betting popularity of the NFL, NBA, and MLB, but can be an important piece of the handle for sportsbooks. Hockey is relatively popular in Detroit and the state of Michigan, so BetMGM has an edge against upcoming rival sportsbooks on the hockey front.

Exclusivity was not mentioned anywhere in the press release announcing the renewal of the BetMGM and Red Wings partnership.

The hockey team is owned by the Ilitch family. The MotorCity Casino Hotel, a rival property to MGM Grand Detroit, is owned by Marian Ilitch.

FanDuel is the online/mobile sports betting partner of the MotorCity Casino. FanDuel doesn’t currently have a partnership with the Red Wings.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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