Last week the sports betting landscape was forever changed when a US media and internet giant launched something akin to its own NJ sportsbook thanks to a deal with one of the biggest names in gaming. Yahoo Sports and MGM Resorts inked a deal in late October that led to the launch of the Yahoo Sportsbook, powered by BetMGM.
Now, both sides say betting on sports is more accessible to fans than ever before, particularly right here in New Jersey.
Yahoo Sportsbook, powered by BetMGM
Yahoo Sportsbook, powered by BetMGM, allows fans to view odds through the Yahoo Sports website and app. Plus, anyone 21 and up and in NJ can now click through to place a bet on the odds at BetMGM.
Next month, they’ll take that a step further with the integration of BetMGM in the Yahoo Sports app. Whis is available for iOS and Android devices.
Verizon Media is Yahoo’s parent company. When the deal was struck, Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan called it a game-changer for sports fans.
“The historic partnership with Yahoo Sports and BetMGM will change the future of fandom, providing new ways for sports fans to go beyond engaging with content and interact through commerce.”
Not a sportsbook, a gateway to sports betting
Yahoo Sports has not necessarily become a sportsbook. Instead, it is a gateway to BetMGM. BetMGM odds are posted on the site and wagers on these odds are just a click away.
Of course, right now the betting side of things is only in New Jersey. That’s because the only other state where BetMGM is functional is Nevada. In-person sign up is required there.
However, West Virginia and Indiana are among the states were the Yahoo/BetMGM partnership is soon headed.
Right now, what it all means is something bigger for NJ sports fans and gamblers than the launch of another sportsbook. It means direct access to a sportsbook from a place they’re already going to research games and lines in big numbers.
Tapping into the Fantasy Sports database
Of course, Yahoo has been in the fantasy sports business since in 2015. But this is its first foray into the growing US sports betting sector.
Yahoo has long been a leader in season-long fantasy. However, it trails FanDuel and DraftKings when it comes to daily fantasy sports.
Enter BetMGM, which has also lagged behind NJ sports betting market leaders FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook.
Now, it must be hoping that being a click away for the tens of millions who use the Yahoo Sports portal every month can be a difference-maker.
BetMGM has to also be thinking access to Yahoo fantasy users can help them replicate the success FanDuel and DraftKings have enjoyed. Plus, being affiliated with one of the largest sports content providers on the web should help BetMGM gain access to a huge number of potential casual sports bettors.
All the benefits, none of the work
What Yahoo gets out of the deal is a direct connection to sports betting without having to do the legwork. Or invest in infrastructure to the same scale most operators do. Plus, Yahoo appears to have found a way to monetize sports betting content in the easiest and most cost-effective way possible.
Of course, this is not the first major sports media company that has jumped in the sports betting game this year.
Fox Sports launched FoxBet through a partnership with The Stars Group earlier this year. Plus, the TheScore sports app and content company launched its own branded online NJ sportsbook as well.
However, those two went a different route than Yahoo. They created traditional online sportsbooks rather than links out to a partner from existing sports content.
What’s next in media/sports betting partnerships
Which is, and will ultimately be, the more effective media/sports betting partnership strategy remains to be seen.
However, some of the biggest players in the sports media sphere will likely be watching very closely over the next little while to see which proves best.
Sports media leaders including ESPN, Bleacher Report, and Turner Sports all have existing deals in place with Caesars. However, none are at the level of this Yahoo-MGM partnership.
This deal may prove successful in helping BetMGM compete in the ever-growing and changing NJ sports betting market. If it does, will Caesars try to change the parameters of these existing deals?
And, will company’s like CBS Sports and NBC Sports soon follow in Yahoo’s footsteps. Or, will they try to find a new way to do things altogether?
Success breeds imitators in any business. The Yahoo-BetMGM deal itself is clearly an attempt to copy the success FanDuel and DraftKings have found tapping into existing Fantasy Sports databases.
If this works for Yahoo and BetMGM, it won’t be too long before other major media companies and gambling operators get in line and try to do the same.