Everyone likes to be prepared. Couples prepare for children, students prepare for tests, and the NHL prepares for the future. The league took its first step towards accepting legalized sports wagering ahead of the 2017-18 season. Possibly a move that could impact Las Vegas and the future of sports betting.
Gambling Watchdog Sportsradar AG was contracted by the NHL this week to monitor suspicious gambling activity. Sportsradar is already contracted by other sports, maintaining the integrity of leagues. The NHL isn’t nervous about Las Vegas corruption, but tracking activity is a good way to be transparent.
The real question of impact could be on Las Vegas’ economy. Sportsradar’s recent contracts with the NHL and other pro leagues is a clear indication sports betting is starting to be more accepted. If pro leagues can prove to their owners, fans, and authorities that sports wagering will not affect the outcomes of games, sports wagering could open up in states across the US. Which would hurt the bottom line of Nevada. However, hockey isn’t really the concern to sportsbooks. The NHL brings in only a collective $300+ million a year, football brings in a whopping $1.8 BILLION a season for Las Vegas casinos.
Hiring a gambling watchdog isn’t necessarily because of Las Vegas entering the league. Sure, Sportsradar will make sure everything is kosher, but the NHL is more concerned with the future. Gambling sites and casinos have a lot of money. Legalizing sports betting would bring in another revenue for sports leagues. Sadly, it would effect the city the league is expanding to.
The NHL giveth, and taketh away.