Gambling Revenue Could Reduce NHL Ticket Prices

Washington Capitals players during warm-ups before a game against

Gambling revenue in the NHL could enable franchises to reduce ticket prices for fans, according to the president of Los Angeles Kings, Luc Robitaille.

The NHL and its franchises have been among the first professional sports organizations to embrace the newly legal sports betting industry in the U.S. following May’s striking down of the 1992 PASPA Act, which effectively banned sports betting in most states.

The NHL itself has announced a partnership with MGM Resorts, which has been named as the sport’s official wagering partner, and on Monday, Fantasy and sports betting company FanDuel were announced as the NHL’s official sports betting partner.

In addition, the New Jersey Devils have struck their own sponsorship deal with FanDuel and have given the go-ahead for two facilities offering betting at Prudential Center, while the Vegas Golden Knights have reached a sponsorship deal with William Hill. These deals were possible because Nevada and New Jersey are the only two states that have NHL teams to have formally introduced sports betting regulations, but other states are likely to follow in the next few months.

Revenue windfall

Speaking on the ESPN On Ice podcast, Robitaille said that if betting on hockey takes off, there would be a revenue windfall for the NHL. Referring to the substantial amount of money that is likely to have been wagered illegally on hockey games in the past, he said that if that level of betting was transferred to the legal market, it could lead to increased money for the teams, and that revenue derived from advertising and sponsorship might be so significant, that it could be passed on to fans:

Hopefully that helps offset some of the ticket pricing. I’m not sure about it, but it could if the money is significant enough. There’s a lot that could go around it.”

A recent Nielsen Sports report, commissioned through the American Gaming Association, found that NHL annual revenue could rise by more than $200 million as a result of legal sports betting.

Ice hockey image taken from Jai Agnish /

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