NBA and The Stars Group Announce Online Sports Betting Partnership

Posted on: December 12, 2018, 07:00h. 

Last updated on: December 11, 2018, 10:39h.

The NBA and The Stars Group (TSG) have entered into a multiyear partnership that authorizes the online sportsbook operator as an official league partner of the National Basketball Association.

NBA sports betting Stars Group BetStars
The NBA will soon cross promote the BetStars online sportsbook. (Image: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/BetStars/

Under the agreement, TSG’s BetStars sports betting platform will have access to official NBA statistics and data in real time, and be permitted to use the pro basketball league’s branding on its website and marketing materials. The arrangement is The Stars Group’s first with a US professional sports league.

The Stars Group is an accomplished global online gaming leader and we are excited to work with them,” NBA Head of Fantasy & Gaming Scott Kaufman-Ross stated. “This dynamic partnership will be another way to create authentic fan engagement with league logos and official NBA betting data, while leveraging Stars’ global expertise to further optimize the fan experience.”

Terms of the NBA and Stars Group deal were not disclosed.

Stars, formerly known as Amaya, is best known for its PokerStars brand, the largest online poker room in the world. The Canadian internet gaming company recently struck a 20-year deal with Eldorado Resorts to operate the casino company’s online sports betting and internet gambling networks.

NBA Slam Dunk

Since the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May and gave states the right to set their own sports wagering laws, the NBA has been at the forefront of embracing the liberalized gambling activity.

In August, the NBA reached its first partnership with a commercial gambling operator by way of a three-year contract with MGM Resorts. In exchange for a rumored $25 million payment, the casino company receives non-exclusive rights to NBA and WNBA data, and allowance to use the leagues’ branding for both its land-based and online sportsbooks.

The NBA – once opposed to sports betting on concerns that widespread gambling would jeopardize the integrity of the games – has drastically reversed that opinion under Commissioner Adam Silver’s tenure. The league executive has supported regulated sports betting as far back as 2014 when he wrote a New York Times op-ed expressing his belief that the federal ban should be repealed.

Silver said this summer of the MGM deal, “Our collaboration will result in the best possible gaming and entertainment experience for consumers through the use of accurate, real-time data and our collective efforts to maintain and enhance the integrity of our games.”

Lucky Stars

It wasn’t all that long ago that PokerStars and parent company Amaya were labeled “bad actors” by US lawmakers. The online cardroom was one of the targets of the 2011 “Black Friday” when the FBI seized internet domains of gaming platforms alleged to be in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Fast-forward a little more than seven years, and now one of the “big four” professional sports leagues in the US is partnering with that very organization for sports betting.

BetStars is already up and running in New Jersey, and has applied for an operating license in Pennsylvania. With the Eldorado deal, TSG could soon be operating online sports betting in five of the eight states where full-fledged sports gambling is presently occurring (Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia).