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NHL Improves the Odds with Former AGA Executive Sara Slane

The National Hockey League hired the advisory firm founded by Sara Slane, the former American Gaming Association senior vice president of public affairs and spokesperson who was instrumental in the repeal of PASPA, to help guide its legal sports betting strategy to a higher level.

Nearly a third of the NHL’s 31 teams are located in states that have already legalized sports betting, including New York with three teams, the Rangers, Islanders and Buffalo Sabres, and Pennsylvania, with two, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

The Carolina Hurricanes are likely be the 10th NHL franchise located in a legal sports betting state when two recently authorized sportsbooks in North Carolina become operational in the near future.

New Opportunities

Since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed PASPA in May 2018, the legalization of sports betting has moved quickly across the country, with more states expected to enact sports wagering legislation before the end of the year.

Several months after PASPA’s repeal, the NHL teamed up with MGM Resorts in its first-ever sports betting partnership. The affiliation gave MGM the rights to NHL-trademarked material for use in MGM sportsbooks, as well as the rights to official NHL data for use with MGM’s in-game wagering platforms. During the recent Stanley Cup Playoffs, the MGM Resorts logo was visible on the ice at every arena.

The NHL then formed partnerships with William Hill and FanDuel. The Las Vegas Golden Knights, as well as the New Jersey Devils, also partnered with William Hill.

Smooth Skating Ahead

Slane Advisory expects not only to help the NHL capitalize on the current legal sports wagering industry, but also to assist its 31 franchises in efforts to cultivate new sports wagering partnerships, develop ongoing sports betting tactics and support relevant gaming legislation.

With a number of other states to consider legal sports betting legislation in 2020, Slane Advisory, described as a “global gaming strategies” firm on its website, can help keep the NHL’s growth moving in an upward direction. A voter referendum in California could legalize sports betting and add three more teams, the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, to the list.

Other franchises that could see their home states moving toward sports betting legalization are the St. Louis Blues in Missouri, Ohio’s Columbus Blue Jackets, Michigan’s Detroit Red Wings, Masschusetts’ Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars of Texas.

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