BetMGM has developed casino games with an NHL spin in one Canadian province and three US states to increase fan engagement with the league.
On Thursday, BetMGM announced the launch of NHL-branded online casino games, which will be available to American players on BetMGM’s mobile betting app in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and Canadian players in Ontario.
Games available include roulette, blackjack, baccarat and a live money wheel game – and if you find the idea of combining baccarat with the NHL a bit confusing, rest assured it’s nothing to do with to do with supporting Brad Marchand.
“The introduction of these unique games further strengthens our relationship with the NHL,” said Oliver Bartlett, Director of Gaming at BetMGM.
The three-dimensional animations provide an “immersive experience” by “putting players on the ice and straight into BetMGM’s live dealer version of the same game.”
NHL Roulette features realistic ball movement. NHL Blackjack places the virtual player at a table in an arena skybox with the ability to virtually move between seats.
A little less creatively, Dream Catcher (the money wheel game) allows players to bet on the number they think the wheel will stop at, with excitement (hopefully) created by various multipliers.
“We are excited to expand our relationship with BetMGM by developing NHL-branded casino games,” said Jason Jazayeri, NHL vice president of business development. “Especially when these new platforms [will] allow us to deepen NHL fans’ connection to our sport in more immersive and compelling ways.”
New territory for the NHL
The NHL is relatively new to partnering with regulated gambling operators, including legal sports betting. Just earlier this year, in April, the NHL announced two multi-year partnership deals that made FanDuel and BetMGM the first-ever North American sports betting partners of the professional hockey league.
As the Official Sportsbook Partner of the NHL, BetMGM will expand its success in the US by advancing its custom content, media and email marketing program efforts in Canada.
“Canada’s new sports betting landscape presents a tremendous opportunity to drive fan engagement,” said Kevin Wachtel, NHL Chief Business Officer & EVP. “We are excited to expand our partnerships with these two leading companies as we begin our transformative entry into this space in Canada and engage our passionate Canadian fan base.”
The terms of these deals include the operator’s right to use official NHL branding and category designations in a variety of ways. Both FanDuel and BetMGM will receive custom content through NHL-controlled media channels. They will be integrated into NHL tented events, including camera-visible signage and on-site activation opportunities.
“Our existing partnership with the NHL has accelerated our ability to reach hockey fans and has enabled us to offer an enhanced hockey betting product,” said Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM. “We look forward to expanding our relationship with the NHL, including incorporating some of their all-time greats from Wayne Gretzky to Connor McDavid into our branding.”
Worryingly for some Canadian boomers, this likely means operators’ marketing campaigns to viewers on TSN and Sportsnet’s platforms will be in full force. Gretzky took heat from Canadian fans when he began appearing in a series of ads for BetMGM’s burgeoning NHL partnership.
No word on when Connor will make his BetMGM promotional debut, although we’re hoping his acting has improved since last year’s Rogers campaign.