MGM Resorts becomes official gaming partner of new American football league

Global hospitality and entertainment company, MGM Resorts International (NYSE : MGM), has entered into an exclusive three-year partnership with proposed professional American football league, The Alliance of American Football, establishing the Las Vegas-based operator as the official sports-betting partner of the league.

According to the official press release…

The three-year sponsorship deal includes MGM’s investment in The Alliance and establishes it as the new league’s exclusive gaming partner and represents the company’s forward-looking view on the fusion of real-time second-generation stats, live sports and fan engagement.

Twelve-week season & free live streaming:

Founded on March 20, 2018, by 35-year-old TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and 75-year-old NFL analyst for ESPN, American football executive and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, “The Alliance features eight teams, under a single entity structure, playing a 12-week season kicking-off February 9, 2019 on CBS and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, 2019.

“Fans will be able to stream Alliance matchups live via the free Alliance app while accessing integrated fantasy options with real rewards — for themselves and the players they are cheering on. Players will have state-of-the-art protection on the field and ample opportunities off it. The Alliance will provide players a comprehensive bonus system, post-football career planning as well as counseling and scholarship support for postsecondary education,” according to The Alliance of American Football’s website.

Partnership benefits:

The partnership aligns The Alliance with the company that began operations in 1987 as MGM Grand, Inc. and enables its utilization of MGM Resorts’ more than three decades of experience and its evolution that took casino gambling online and mobile, first with mobile sports wagering app playMGM in 2016, followed by easyPLAY online and mobile slot tournaments.

In addition to free streaming matchups via the first-of-its-kind app and accessing integrated “real rewards,” when The Alliance’s 12-week season kicks off Feb. 9, one week following th 7BALL e National Football League’s Super Bowl LIII championship game, the MGM GVC Interactive-owned and operated sports betting platform will reportedly provide fans with traditional sports betting, as well as in-game wagering – in states where sports gambling is now legal.

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PASPA served as catalyst:

The Supreme Court having struck down the federal ban on sports wagering (PASPA) on May 14 this year, states are moving quickly to legalize and regulate sports betting. It is currently legal in 8 states including Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York (launch pending), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia, while Kentucky and Ohio have bills that have been pre-filed for the 2019 legislative session.

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer for MGM Resorts International, Jim Murren said…

“We are excited to team with The Alliance on this unprecedented partnership, which allows us to fully engage with fans and revolutionize the fan experience. We look forward to expanding our customer base into this exciting new league and sports betting opportunity.”

Also commenting on the new partnership, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder for The Alliance of American Football, Charlie Ebersol (pictured left) said…

“Our focus has always been to bring together best-in-class partners to build a spring football league that will change the landscape of professional sports. We realized our overall mission and vision were in complete alignment with MGM.  As one of the world’s largest and most successful gaming companies, and an industry leader in innovation, together we can revolutionize the sports wagering experience for fans in a way that’s never been done before.  I’m proud to welcome them to The Alliance as our first official corporate investor.”

Not a gambling organization:

Ebersol, son of former NBC Sports Group Chairman, Dick Ebersol, reportedly told AdAge, that they [The Alliance of American Football] is not a gambling organization.

“I believe the value proposition for us is that because of the type of data we can create and the manner in which we can capture it, we can provide the information faster to MGM and our end users than anyone’s ever been able to deliver it before,” said Ebersol.

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