NHL’s Bettman Wants Sports-Betting Cut

Gary Bettman (l.), commissioner of the National Hockey League, says the NHL should get a cut of any income from wagering on NHL games. His plea follows a deal MGM Resorts cut with the NBA granting the basketball league a fee for use of data, logos and videos.

The head of the National Hockey League last week became the latest professional sports official to fish for an “integrity fee” or royalty from a percentage of wagers on games in legal sports-betting programs in the wake of the May U.S. Supreme Court decision removing the federal ban on sports wagering.

As the National Basketball League and MGM Resorts International announced an agreement granting a fee to that league for use of official NBA and WNBA information and statistics in setting betting lines at MGM sports books, including authorization for MGM to use NBA logos and branding, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said his league wants a cut of gambling profits if its intellectual property, data or video from games are used in sports-betting operations.

Bettman told guest host Larry Lage in the latest episode of the Associated Press “PodcastOne Sports Now” show that operators seeking to use NHL assets should negotiate a deal with the league.

“We’ve historically been opposed to extending sports betting on our game, and, emotionally, I don’t think that’s changed,” Bettman said. “However, it is a fact of life in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, and it will be up to states to decide whether or not they’re going to enact sports betting.

“From our standpoint, we believe that that whether it’s our intellectual property or data, whether it’s video of our game, we have important assets. And if somebody is going to avail themselves or want to avail themselves of those assets in order to conduct their business, then we’re going to need to have a negotiation.”

Bettman was among the first major professional sports officials to endorse the idea of legal sports betting as New Jersey’s challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act wound its way through the courts.