New Jersey’s top-grossing sports betting operator just signed a deal to become an official gaming partner for the MLB.

FanDuel Group runs NJ’s top-performing retail sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands. Plus, it is the firm behind the No. 1 NJ online sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook.

This week, FanDuel joined the MLB in announcing the pair had inked a multi-year partnership deal designating FanDuel as an Authorized Gaming Operator of MLB.

While FanDuel has deals with the NBA, the NHL, and the NJ Devils, this deal marks FanDuel’s first partnership with the MLB or an MLB team.

FanDuel joins MGM Resorts International and DraftKings as MLB’s official gaming partners. In fact, it was only last month that the MLB signed a similar deal with DraftKings. 

FanDuel gets access to official MLB data

Essentially, the partnership means MLB gives FanDuel access to official league data.

FanDuel also gets to use MLB and MLB team marks and logos. It will presumably use those to help market its online sports betting products and retail sportsbook locations in New Jersey and beyond.

FanDuel Group President & COO Kip Levin said the popularity of betting on baseball made this deal a no-brainer:

“Baseball is one of the most popular sports to bet on and partnering with MLB allows us to make the betting experience even better for our customers.”

Kenny Gersh, MLB Executive VP of Gaming & New Business Ventures, said a deal with FanDuel simply made sense considering its place in the emerging US sports betting sector:

“FanDuel has proven itself to be a leader in the sports betting space and has shifted a step ahead again through its commitment to, and recognition of, the value in being an authorized gaming operator. Now having access to our official sports betting data feeds and MLB brands, we’re looking forward to the creative sports betting and fan experience innovations FanDuel will develop.”

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What the deal means for NJ

What access to official MLB data now means for FanDuel Sportsbook customers in NJ is enhanced in-play baseball wagering.

According to FanDuel, in-play wagering already accounts for more than 50% of FanDuel Sportsbook’s business.

FanDuel officials say real-time access to official MLB data can only help it enhance the in-play sports wagering experience. It might even help it offer more in-play action.

FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands became the top-grossing retail sportsbook in NJ immediately after it launched in July 2018. The property’s proximity to New York City has certainly helped.

The FanDuel Sportsbook app launched in September 2018. It took over the position as NJ’s top-grossing online and mobile sportsbook from DraftKings Sportsbook in February 2019.

FanDuel hasn’t looked back since.

A piece of the sports betting pie

MLB has been trying to get in on sports betting since the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban last year.

It first tried and largely failed to convince lawmakers across the country that sportsbooks must be forced to buy league data to protect the integrity of sports.

Then, it moved on to scare tactics. In the lead up to this deal with FanDuel, Gersh said sports betting operators that don’t buy official league data “won’t be around for long.”

Gersh’s comments surrounded the idea that in-play wagering has become an increasingly large part of the sports betting market.

He was suggesting operators can’t really offer in-play betting on baseball properly without access to official data.

But live betting, as it is sometimes called, has been offered at NJ sportsbooks since launch without issue. Access to official MLB data does improve a sportsbook’s offering, but it’s a question of how much.

Martin Derbyshire

About

In his over 10 years covering the US online poker, legal NJ online gambling, and land-based casino industries, Martin Derbyshire has worn the hats of award-winning journalist and video and film producer. He has logged countless miles reporting on the world of high stakes gambling.