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NBA inks deal with MGM for integrity boost

NEW YORK (AFP) – The NBA, concerned with integrity after a US Supreme Court ruling that could allow sport gambling in every state, announced Tuesday a partnership with sports betting operator MGM Resorts International.

The landmark multi-year deal makes the NBA the first American sports league with an official betting partner.

The deal, which ESPN reported was for three years and worth at least $25 million, allows MGM Reports to use official NBA and Women’s NBA data and branding on a non-exclusive basis across its US sports betting offerings.

The NBA and MGM Resorts will also unite to protect the integrity of NBA and WNBA games, including anonymized real-time data sharing and integrations across NBA platforms, including a special digital content series.

In May, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 US law that banned sports betting in most states, opening the door to internet bets with the support of many who had worried that sports gambling would jeopardize the integrity of game results.

“As the landscape for sports betting in the US continues to evolve at a rapid pace, MGM Resorts is a proven gaming leader for us to work with on this groundbreaking partnership,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

In 2007, NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty to charges related to an FBI investigation that accused him of betting on games which he officiated in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

The new deal follows prior MGM deals with the NBA and WNBA. MGM Resorts has been title partner of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas for the past two years.

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