You may be able to bet on sports legally in an arena or stadium awfully soon.
Although sports betting is not legal in the state of California, NBA franchise, the Sacramento Kings are looking to change that in a way. Reported on Feb. 15 by Reuters, the Kings would like to develop a “predictive gaming” lounge which would eventually pave the way to this in-arena gambling.
The first test will come on March 17 as the Kings play host to Chicago. The lounge will also be open for games against the Brooklyn Nets (March 19), Dallas Mavericks (March 21) and Phoenix Suns (March 23).
A portion of fans there will able to make free “predictions” on the outcomes of the game in the brand new Kings Skyloft Gaming Lounge. No money is being exchanged just simple entertainment for the fans and a free new system to test out.
“Predictive gaming is incredibly disruptive and will only continue to gain popularity in the NBA and beyond,” Kings’ owner and chairman Vivek Ranadivé said in a statement to the public last Friday. “Working with industry leaders like Swish Analytics allows us to test and perfect this technology to give fans the best experience in future seasons.”
What separates Ranadivé’s plan and the Kings themselves is the fact that no other NBA team has a lounge like the one in Sacramento that can be used for actual betting or this new predictive gaming the franchise is trying to push. This gaming lounge is really what could simulate the legal sports betting to a degree.
The issue with all this is that California is one of the many states that isn’t part of the legislation that is due to be introduced in 2019 to pass legal sports betting. This could very well make the Kings goals and dreams something far down the line.
Especially since most of the tribal casinos have the power and control in the gaming and gambling market, this could make even harder to come to fruition anytime soon.
The other issue that plays into this is Nevada’s grip on the sports gambling market in the west. If indeed California gets this going and develops legal online betting then it would be a mass population that would be allowed to make bets.
What could work in Sacramento’s favor is the fact that the NBA has been so quick to join the legalized sports conversation.
The NBA in July that signed a deal to name MGM the exclusive official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA and allowed the company to use league logos, highlight reels and data in promoting its sports betting services. The pact was the first time a major United States sports league affiliated with a sportsbook.
As of now, these loyal Kings fans or fans of basketball will get to place these free “predictions” as the franchise will select ticketholders in random sections to earn free credits. Then they can make these “predictions” on the game itself with steals, 3-pointers, double-doubles, blocks, team points, margin of victory, rebounds, etc.
The prizes can included raffle tickets for signed Kings memorabilla or authentic gear and/or game tickets to the top five people with the highest winning “predictions” totals.