Verizon Media’s Yahoo Sports is getting into the gambling business with the launch of a new section that lets fans see betting odds for various sports. But for now, only users in New Jersey will be able to place actual bets, through the separate BetMGM platform operated by MGM Resorts International.
On Thursday, Yahoo Sports is launching Yahoo Sportsbook powered by BetMGM, which integrates sports betting opportunities into the Yahoo Sports app and desktop experiences.
Users of legal age in the state of New Jersey can click through the odds to place bets on BetMGM‘s app. For the launch, Yahoo Sports is focused on states that allow full remote mobile sports betting, a Verizon Media rep said. And, for now, that’s limited to the Garden State. According to Verizon, Yahoo Sportsbook powered by BetMGM will “soon become available to fans in other states where sports betting is legal.”
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a decades-old law that had banned sports betting nationwide and essentially limited gambling activity to Nevada. While sports wagering is now legal in multiple states, only New Jersey legally provides for legalized mobile betting.
For New Jersey users, Yahoo Sports is offering a special promotion to use Yahoo Sportsbook powered by BetMGM: If they put down a $10 deposit, they can claim $100 in free bets. The betting experience will include odds for sports worldwide including the NBA, NHL, football, college sports, baseball, soccer, golf and tennis.
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U.S. users outside the state of New Jersey will still be able to see odds listed in Yahoo Sportsbook. Also, the Yahoo Fantasy platform provides a range of free and paid games.
Under a multiyear deal, future planned collaborations by Verizon Media, MGM Resorts and Roar Digital (a joint venture of MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings) are to include additional betting options, live events and original content. MGM Resorts also will distribute Yahoo Sports content across its properties and platforms and Yahoo Sports will also be hosting multiple player events at MGM Resorts properties.
“The historic partnership with Yahoo Sports and BetMGM will change the future of fandom, providing new ways for sports fans to go beyond engaging with content and interact through commerce,” Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said in announcing the partnership last month.
Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, said that integrating Yahoo’s fantasy sports operations and content with BetMGM “uniquely positions us to drive market share and large-scale adoption among sports fans.”
According to Verizon, Yahoo Sports has a monthly audience of 60 million U.S. users while Yahoo Fantasy Football users spend some 9 billion minutes on the platform annually.