SECAUCUS, N.J. — American professional sports leagues used to fight sports betting as an existential threat until the U.S. Supreme Court handed them a loss. They widely lost again when state legislatures rejected their pleas to be cut in on the action under new laws.
Now, nearly a year after the high court cleared the way for any state to choose whether to take wagers, the leagues have completely changed their tune to embrace the private deals offered via legalized sports gambling, both in young markets and prospective ones.
Numerous sports have inked marketing deals with gambling companies to become official sports betting providers, agreements that include a lot of cross-promotion and the ability for sportsbooks to use a wealth of official league data, which often goes beyond offerings of other providers.
Leagues and even individual teams now have employees whose main job is to seek out new business opportunities involving sports betting.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Wayne Parry, The Associated Press