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PokerStars Parent Company Nets Sports Betting Partnership Deal With The NBA

The Stars Group Inks Deal As NBA's Second Gambling Operator Partner

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Four months after striking a deal with MGM Resorts International, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has found a second gambling partner. The NBA has come to a multi-year agreement with PokerStars parent company The Stars Group to promote each other’s brand across social and gaming platforms.

In addition to the possibility of seeing BetStars and PokerStars on the NBA’s digital assets, such as NBA TV and NBA.com, the league will also give the Stars Group access to real-time data.

“This dynamic partnership will be another way to create authentic fan engagement with league logos and official NBA betting data, while leveraging Stars’ global expertise to further optimize the fan experience,” said NBA Head of Fantasy and Gaming Scott Kaufman-Ross.

The Stars Group is currently licensed to run their online sportsbook in New Jersey, and most recently was approved to offer online gaming (without sports betting) in Pennsylvania.

However, an emerging bill from Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch could potentially threaten PokerStars from further re-entering the U.S. gambling market. The bill seeks to give the federal government complete oversight over sportsbooks, forcing them to be approved by the U.S. Attorney General before they could take wagers.

The circulating bill would apparently deny licenses to any offshore gaming operator that took bets “on or after Oct. 13,2006,” the date of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). It is unclear how this piece of legislation would affect already operational sportsbooks.

The NBA was the first of three major sports leagues to jump into the gambling world. Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) have also formed partnerships with MGM Resorts, while the National Football League (NFL) as an organization remains non-committal to sports betting. Instead, individual teams have begun signing their own deals with various gaming operators.