On-Site Sports Betting Coming to NHL Arenas ‘Eventually,’ Team Official Says

Posted on: September 29, 2021, 01:42h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2021, 05:30h.

With legal sports betting on the rise, on-site wagering will take place some day at all National Hockey League arenas, according a Carolina Hurricanes official.

Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators
The Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov, left, and Nashville Predators’ Ryan Ellis square off during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The game was played at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Image: Tennessean)

Hurricanes General Manager Tom Dundon said his team is one of those “working on” allowing fans to bet on games while inside the arena, according Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.

Every arena “is going to have it eventually,” Dundon said.

It’s just about when, for the most part, because it seems to be legal in many states, and on its way in others,” he said.

Before that can happen in North Carolina, where the Hurricanes are based, a sports gambling bill will have to pass out of the legislature and be signed by the governor. The state Senate approved a bill on Aug. 19 to authorize sports betting. The House has not voted on the measure, according to WNCN-TV.

As North Carolina lawmakers debate the issue, sports betting has been legalized in 26 states. It is legal but not yet operational in six others, according to the American Gaming Association website. In Canada, the federal government legalized single-game sports betting this summer.

The NHL has a combined 32 teams in the US and Canada. An expansion team, the Seattle Kraken, named for a legendary sea monster, begins play this year. The league’s preseason schedule already is underway. Regular season games begin in October.

Caesars Uniform Logos

In May, Capital One Arena became the first athletic arena in the US with an on-site sportsbook. The arena is home to the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards.

The two-story William Hill sportsbook at the arena includes betting windows, self-service kiosks, and electronic screens showing betting odds. 

Caesars Entertainment, which acquired William Hill in the spring, also is partnering with the Capitals by placing a Caesars Sportsbook logo on each player’s uniform. 

The  logo will begin appearing on the Capitals’ uniforms after the current season.

NFL Embraces Sports Betting 

For decades, most major leagues publicly avoided any connection to sports betting, in part because of its historic link to organized crime. A league’s integrity would be called into question if fans thought players and officials were rigging games to enrich themselves and crime factions.

The NFL has especially had a high-profile change of heart in regards to sports betting.

In 1989, investigative reporter Dan E. Moldea’s book, Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football, broke ground by exploring the underworld’s influence on the league and some of its key figures. 

As recently as 2017, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at an owners meeting that the league will “still strongly oppose legalized sports gambling.”

The integrity of our game is number one,” he said. “We will not compromise on that.”

Like other leagues, the NFL’s position has changed since then.

This year, the NFL has allowed FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET to become its sportsbook operators. The league also has signed with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel to become “official sports-betting partners.”

Years ago, then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue opposed putting a team in Las Vegas, the nation’s gambling capital. Under Goodell, the Raiders moved to Las Vegas from Oakland, and now play home games at Allegiant Stadium, just west of the Las Vegas Strip. An NHL team, the Vegas Golden Knights, play at T-Mobile Arena on the Strip.