Sports gambling could reduce NHL ticket prices

The NHL, as well as several teams in the league, have embraced sports gambling in the U.S. The league has already signed a partnership agreement with MGM Resorts, which became the NHL's "official sports wagering partner," and FanDuel became the league's "official sports betting partner" earlier this week.  The NJ Devils have a sponsorship agreement with FanDuel and the Vegas Golden Knights are partnered with William Hill.  The continued merge of sports and sports gambling is going to produce a windfall for the NHL if LA Kings President Luc Robitaille's prediction is correct. 

In a recent ESPN ON ICE podcast, Robitaille indicated that he sees a very bright future for the NHL.  He explained, "If teams profit, then everybody will profit.  If you go by the numbers on the illegal part, it's pretty significant. If that part ends up on the team side, I think it's going [to] help everyone. First of all, the [salary] cap will go up. Fans will be happy. Teams will spend more money on players. Players' salaries will go up."

Robitaille added that the increases will benefit fans, as well.  He said that a climb in revenue could lead to lower ticket prices, which will certainly make fans happy.  He asserted, "You would think this would help with always putting the pressure on fans to keep paying ... hockey is still a ticket business, primarily. Hopefully that helps offset some of the ticket pricing. I'm not sure about it, but it could if the money is significant enough. There's a lot that could go around it."

A recent study by Nielsen Sports indicated that the annual revenue expected by the NHL should jump by as much as $216 million thanks to legalized sports gambling.  Part of the money - an estimated $65 million - would come from sportsbooks' advertising with the league.

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