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Tennessee Titans announce partnership with BetMGM

Yahoo Finance's On The Move panel cover what's moving markets.

Video Transcript


JULIE HYMAN: Time for "Word on the Street" where we check in with our panels, find out what stories they are watching. Betting in sports is something that Dan Roberts watches closely. And MGM is signing its first betting deal in Tennessee with the Titans. Ironic, I guess, suppose-- since we just got the news that the Titans are testing positive for coronavirus, or more of them are. Dan, but how significant is this deal?

DAN HOWLEY: Well, I think it is-- it's just sort of the latest step, Julie. The larger significance is this parade of betting deals we're seeing with teams, and I wrote about this right before the start of the season. What I wrote was that the biggest change happening in the NFL this year isn't the pandemic, and people might disagree, the pandemic might get all the gossip, but the larger more important business change that's really happening rapidly and is sort of being less discussed is this rush of betting deals that teams are making. Individual teams can now make deals and call a company their first official betting partner.

So BetMGM signs the Titans. DraftKings has signed two teams. DraftKings has also signed two MLB teams. This deal with the Titans is the first of its kind. The first deal between a Casino operator and a pro sports team in Tennessee in state.

So what we're seeing here is a mad dash for companies, US-based betting companies, to quickly announce and lineup their partners because it's a land grab, and we're seeing a number of states quickly pass sports betting legislation. A number of states have legislation on the docket, a bill that hasn't yet been passed, but is imminent, like Massachusetts, which is dragging its heels. All that said, even though I'm covering this kind of parade and this momentum, I think there's been a little too much made of how much change this will bring financially.

You know, I'm not convinced that in certain states that pass it, every person who's ever bet on sports illegally with a bookie is suddenly going to say, oh, great. I can place a legal bet now at a physical sportsbook. But it is interesting, and it's going to change the NFL in the long run.

JULIE HYMAN: So, Dan, sorry, just break this down for me. So this deal, as an example of the kinds of deals we're seeing, it means you can bet intent-- physically, if you live in Tennessee, you can bet on the Titans, but can you only bet on the Titans then, and only physically in Tennessee, or can you do online? Like, how does it all work?

DAN HOWLEY: Right. So online needs to pass separately, and not every state that has passed legal sports betting at physical sites has also passed mobile. Mobile is separate, and actually it appears that it's a little harder to pass. But mobile is really where the puck is headed, and where the money is going to be. They've got mobile set up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania where Penn Gaming just-- just launched something, which of course, is the majority owner of Barstool Sports.

In Tennessee, as in every other state, it only applies to Tennessee, to that state. And it just means that BetMGM, it's really more of a marketing deal. BetGM gets to use Titan's logo, and IP, and its advertising, and say, we're the official betting partner of the Titans. But if another company, which is free to come along and open up a physical sportsbook in Tennessee, does so, you could go bet on the Titans at the DraftKings physical sportsbook, and you're going to see all those other companies rush to do so.

JULIE HYMAN: Very interesting stuff. Thank you, Dan, for explaining that to us.