New Jersey The Test Case For Yahoo’s Sports Betting Entry

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The recent partnership reached between Yahoo and MGM Resorts for sports betting has intrigued many in the gaming industry who wonder exactly how this will work.

On Thursday, we get a quick hint. Yahoo visitors in New Jersey will be the guinea pigs in this deal, for the first time seeing prompts to click through to the BetMGM product to place their sports bets.

“The new offering gives sports fans a new way to enjoy the games they love, integrating sports betting opportunities into the Yahoo Sports app and desktop experiences,” the companies said in a press release. “Yahoo Sportsbook powered by BetMGM elevates the experience for sports fans, getting them closer to the games they’re passionate about and closing the loop from content to transactions.”

The concept, we hear, will be similar to the philosophy preached so often at last week’s Sports Betting Investor Summit and Sports Betting USA conference in Manhattan last week: make would-be sports bettors aware of the new option, while taking pains not to be distracting to the millions of sports fans who have no interest in risking money on their favorite teams.

Those who are interested can download the Yahoo Sports app on iOS or Google Play, or visit sports.yahoo.com and find options there.

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The inevitable promotion

Anyone who is familiar with the legal, regulated New Jersey sports betting landscape since mid-2018 knows that promotions are sure to follow any launch.

In this case, the press release says new users can “claim $100 in free bets on BetMGM” with a $10 deposit.

Yahoo and BetMGM say that the wagering “will soon become available to fans in other states where sports betting is legal.” (That number is now just over a dozen.)

And even if you aren’t in New Jersey, you’ll be able to see the free and paid game options on the Yahoo Fantasy platform.

The combination of Yahoo’s massive fantasy sports player database and MGM’s millions of gamblers could make for a potent partnership. The companies are promising “future collaboration to come, including betting experiences and content experiences like live events and productions.”

MGM has direct deals with the NBA — announced last summer as the first in a flurry of industry hookups — as well as the NHL and MLB.

The initial sports that will be part of this Yahoo-MGM deal are basketball, hockey, football, baseball, soccer, golf, and tennis.

Photo by Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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