The rise and fall of the Alliance of American Football has been fairly well documented to this point, but there’s been one question left about the remains of the short-lived league: the AAF betting app.
The app technology is thought to be the most valuable piece of the league left over, and MGM has agreed to purchase it. The casino giant has agreed to buy the intellectual property behind the app for $125,000, an extremely far cry from several million that the AAF spent developing it.
The betting app was reportedly developed for $40 million or more, and is being sold for a fraction of the price. It’s been speculated by some internal, unnamed AAF sources that former owner Tom Dundon purchased the AAF simply to get his hands on the technology.
Regardless if it’s true, MGM filed in late September of 2018, paying $7 million for a secured interest in the app’s technology. The $7 million will be reduced to $5 million, according to a filing on June 26.
AAF trustee Randolph Osherow wrote in the filing:
“MGM now seeks to obtain ownership of the IP, and the parties…have concluded that it is in their best interest to consensually resolve MGM’s claims. If the IP is not developed, its value will likely dissipate.”
Osherow’s filing also states that on April 1, MGM and the AAF signed a license for the IP that was supposedly permanent. He also said that there are “competing claims to the IP. Determining the legal ownership of intellectual property rights is often, a fact, cost and time intensive process.”
The betting technology appeared rudimentary at best, described by one lawyer as “like Tecmo Bowl,” the 1987 video game. The released app showed dots, representing players, moving around the field. One of the goals the representation and the app as a whole was to help bettors try to predict playcalls for betting.
Osherow’s filing asks courts for a three-week comment period before approving the sale. It’s likely that Dundon will make a claim for the technology, as he filed separately seeing a return of the $70 million he funneled into the league during his brief tenure as league owner.
Dundon’s filing didn’t mention the betting technology developed, but it seem likely that the “competing claims” involve him, as the remains of the AAF were listed as $11 million in assets against $48 million in liabilities. He’ll want to go after anything of value, including the betting technology.
Beyond the betting technology, there isn’t much remaining of the AAF. As the details of the league’s bankruptcy filings began to filter down to the press, it became clear that the league’s funding was anything except secure.
The AAF football equipment reportedly has a deposit placed on it by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment, owners of the XFL. The deposit was for $375,000. The sale hasn’t been made final yet, but it’s a good chance that the XFL will pay what it takes to get what they need.