Posted on: September 4, 2020, 11:29h. 

Last updated on: September 4, 2020, 11:56h.

Just in time for the 2020 NFL season, MGM Resorts International BetMGM unit is announcing another partnership. This time around, it’s with the Detroit Lions.

Detroit Lions BetMGM
BetMGM is the first official betting partner of the Detroit Lions. (Image: Detroit News)

In a statement issued Thursday, the NFL franchise said BetMGM, a joint venture between the casino operator and GVC Holdings, will become the team’s first official betting partner.

The partnership features fan-focused assets such as presenting sponsor of Lions Bingo and Lions Perks, as well as team broadcast programming, digital marketing assets, and in-stadium promotions and signage,” according to the statement.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it extends the sports betting entity’s recent string of transactions with teams in fast-growing sports wagering markets. In June, BetMGM inked a pact with the Denver Broncos. Colorado and Michigan are two of the newest additions to the “live and legal” US sports betting fray, as both states joined that party this year.

Sensible Move

With sports wagering just getting off the ground in Michigan, news of the BetMGM/Lions relationship arrives at an appropriate time.

MGM runs one of the three commercial casinos in Detroit — the MGM Grand — and has the biggest sports betting footprint relative to its rivals, and superior brand recognition. The other casinos in that city are MotorCity Casino Hotel and Greektown Casino-Hotel.

The gaming company and the Lions have a long-standing relationship, which includes the MGM Grand Detroit Tunnel Club at Ford Field. As for the betting element of the new partnership, it’s not about fans placing wagers at Ford Field, or even on their phones, but more about giving them a free-to-play outlet that could convert casual players into more savvy bettors in the future.

Lions Bingo, which was rolled out last year, is free and asks competitors to accurately identify plays or statistical achievements over the course of a game.

“New for 2020, with BetMGM as a partner, fans that accurately predict the right sequence of game scenarios will be eligible to win cash prizes and future all-expenses-paid trips to visit MGM Resorts properties across the country,” according to the statement.

Prelude to More?

Sports betting launched in the state in early March. But it appeared only at the aforementioned Detroit casinos, and the timing was inauspicious, to say the least. Less than two weeks later, US sports shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, eliminating locals’ ability to legitimately wager on the NCAA Tournament and Detroit teams, such as the Pistons and Red Wings.

It’s expected that Michigan will soon permit online betting, a move that further enhances the allure of the market. By population, it’s the eighth-largest state and is already drawing an array of well-known sports betting operators.

As for the Lions, the bingo game with BetMGM may be what it takes to keeps fans interested this year because oddsmakers believe the team will finish last in the NFC North. If that happens, 2020 would mark the third consecutive year in which the team accomplishes that dubious feat.



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