NHL Owner: Sports Betting Revenue Could Lower Ticket Prices

The owner of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings expressed optimism in the benefits to the league from newly legal sport betting, including the ability to lower ticket prices to games.

In the wake of historic marketing and revenue agreements between the National Hockey League and other sports organizations, the president of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings said last week that the league expects a significant windfall of revenue resulting from the legalization of sports betting and marketing deals with casino companies—enabling teams to even consider lowering ticket prices to NHL games.

Kings President Luc Robitalle told the ESPN on ICE podcast that owners can hold ticket prices down if some of the more optimistic revenue projections resulting from sports betting take hold.

“I’m not sure about it, but it could if the money is significant enough,” Robitaille told ESPN. “I’m not going to guarantee it’s going to bring down ticket prices, but it might hold the raise a little bit. If a team plans on raising ticket prices by 8 percent, they might only raise them by 5 percent or 4 percent. If there’s a lot more money at the table, it makes everybody’s life easier.”

In the interview, Robitaille said revenue from marketing deals and mobile sports betting with in-play wagering will end up in more profit for the teams. “If you go by the numbers on the illegal part, it’s pretty significant,” he said. “If that part ends up on the team side, I think it’s going to help everyone. First of all, the cap will go up. Fans will be happy. Teams will spend more money on players. Players’ salaries will go up.”

In October, the NHL announced a betting sponsorship deal with MGM Resorts, while both the Golden Knights and the New Jersey Devils have announced partnerships with William Hill. Last week, both the Devils and the NHL entered into agreements with FanDuel, making the company the official daily fantasy sports partner of the league and a sports betting partner with the New Jersey team.