Baltimore Ravens have entered into sports betting deal less than 24 hours after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed sports betting bill into law.
The Ravens announced Wednesday that the professional football team has named BetMGM an official gaming partner. The online sportsbook is Raven’s first official sports betting partner, with the team expected to announce two more partnerships in the coming months.
Maryland sports betting allows the state’s six casinos, and professional sports teams’ venues to obtain licenses for retail betting. The regulators are expected to launch sports betting in the state before the turn of the year.
Key Details of Ravens-BetMGM Deal
Under terms of the deal, the digital arm of MGM Resorts International will collaborate with the National Football League (NFL) team to create joint promotions for Ravens fans. BetMGM signage and branding will also appear in M&T Bank Stadium.
The New Jersey-based sportsbook will also have a private hospitality suite within the arena, and BetMGM will feature the team’s specific promotions and marketing campaigns.
Both entities however remained short of detailing plans regarding how their sports betting partnership would translate at the stadium as the regulators have yet to create a framework for the new industry.
Raven’s First Official Gaming Partnership
Ravens Chief Sales Officer Kevin Rochlitz expressed excitement over the partnership with BetMGM, saying that the team looked forward to the specialized entertainment experience the sportsbook would provide for its fans.
“When we started the process of carefully identifying sports wagering and online gaming partners, one of our biggest priorities was finding unique ways for Ravens fans to further engage with the team,” Rochlitz said.
BetMGM Chief Revenue Officer Matt Prevost said the company is proud to be Raven’s first official gaming partner. He said “the Ravens are an incredible organization with a rich history,” and that BetMGM looked forward to offering the Baltimore-based NFL team’s fans novel ways to engage with their favorite team on the sportsbook’s “market-leading platform”.
Currently, the NFL does not allow to offer on-site betting, regardless of state laws. However, marketing arrangements with casino or sports betting sponsors are allowed.
Jorge Perez, President & Chief Operating Officer, MGM National Harbor, underscored the strategic timing at which the BetMGM-Ravens partnership has come for MGM National Harbor, one of the state’s six casinos. Perez said the partnership comes at a pivotal time for the parent company’s casino as Maryland ushers in the era of regulated sports betting.
“We are confident that we will provide team fans throughout the DMV with novel and innovative ways to experience NFL season before, during, and after games at our entertainment resort,” Perez said.
How Have We Reached Here?
Maryland voters approved a referendum to legalize sports betting in November 2020. While online and retail sports betting has been legalized following the governor’s approval this week, the regulatory framework will take a few more months before the industry is launched in Maryland.
Under the finalized sports betting plan approved by the governor Tuesday, the regulators will dole in in-person sports betting licenses for the stadiums of professional teams-the Ravens, the Orioles, and the Washington Football Team- in addition to casinos and racetracks.
The Washington Football Team already has a partnership with New York-based FanDuel.
It is not clear whether sports arenas would be allowed to offer betting year-round or only on game days or during special occasions.
Ravens Seeks More Partnerships
While BetMGM is now Ravens’ first official gaming partner, the NFL team is looking to have two more gaming partnerships with digital sports betting platforms soon. Rochlitz said the team is likely to announce the other partnerships in the coming weeks.
All these partnerships are aimed at increasing visibility and attracting fans through marketing partners like BetMGM, Rochlitz said.
BetMGM also has sports betting partnerships with five other NFL teams- the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, and Pittsburg Steelers. All these teams play home games in legalized sports jurisdictions.