- Major League Baseball (MLB) announced a multiyear deal with Fox Bet, making the online platform its fourth authorized gaming operator as legalized sports betting grows nationwide. In May, Fox Sports and gambling firm The Stars Group formed Fox Bet to create apps for real-money sports wagering and free-to-play contests.
- Fox Bet now has the right to use MLB logos in its Fox Bet sports betting app, which currently accepts wagers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in its Fox Sports Super 6 free-to-play game, available nationwide. The platform also has access to the league's Statcast data feed in its sports betting app, SportTechie reported.
- The Stars Group and MLB also will work together to promote responsible gaming and to protect the integrity of live games. Fox Bet plans to expand nationwide as additional states legalize online sports betting, per its announcement.
MLB's licensing deal with Fox Bet follows similar agreements with betting operators FanDuel, DraftKings and MGM Resorts. The agreement comes as legalized sports betting expands nationwide, spurring the growth of mobile apps that accept real-money wagers. Gambling and technology executives forecast that 90% of sports betting in the U.S. will happen on mobile phones or online in the next five to 10 years, the Associated Press reported. A landmark Supreme Court ruling last year opened the door to legalized sports betting, leaving individual states to decide whether to authorize it.
The expansion of legalized sports betting in the U.S. is luring participation from sports leagues like the MLB and media companies like Fox, whose Fox Sports has an option to buy an interest in FanDuel. FanDuel last year was acquired by Paddy Power Betfair, which rebranded itself as Flutter Entertainment in March. Flutter this month agreed to buy The Stars Group, creating the world's biggest online gambling company based on revenue, CNN reported.
Brands are working to capitalize on this new sports marketing opportunity by incorporating legalized sports betting to their promotions. Taco Bell this week updated its "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" campaign by teaming with BetMGM to give baseball fans in states where sports betting is legal a chance to wager real money on players they think will steal the first base of the World Series. That player will be named the "Taco Hero," and the fast food chain will announce a date for when fans can receive free Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos at participating U.S. locations.