When the NHL made the plunge into Las Vegas, they had to assume that the local casinos would want to take action on the Golden Knights’ home games. Evidently, that’s something the NHL is trying to partially avoid.
Gary Bettman has expressed his concern about keeping Golden Knights home games “family-friendly” and is planning to ask MGM Chairman Jim Murren to prevent betting at adjacent casinos during Golden Knights games at T-Mobile Arena.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) October 1, 2017
It sounds like the NHL’s request won’t be a formal one, but will instead be a personal request between the NHL commissioner and the head of MGM. Specifically, the NHL doesn’t want any betting taking place immediately around T-Mobile Arena, which would include MGM’s Monte Carlo and New York, New York casinos. That’s a rather interesting request considering just how many casinos are in relative proximity to T-Mobile Arena.
The NHL’s hopes for a family-friendly experience at T-Mobile Arena are understandable, but we’re not sure how restricting betting at just two nearby casinos achieves that goal. Couldn’t a fan simply travel slightly further and make a bet at Excalibur, Tropicana, ARIA or one of the many casinos that aren’t shoulder-to-shoulder with the arena? It won’t be quite as convenient to make a bet if you can’t do it right next door, but it’s still pretty easy to do if you’re headed to the game.
The league has an admirable goal of maintaining home-ice advantage for the Golden Knights. The ability to bet on games might throw a slight wrench in that, but it doesn’t sound like preventing betting at two casinos will do much in the grand scheme of things. The best way to maintain that advantage is to have the team immediately resonate with the fans – and non-fans – in the local area. That would include plenty of community outreach and, most importantly of all, putting a competitive product out on the ice.
We’ll all have to wait and see what Golden Knights home games are actually like, beginning with their home opener on October 10th.