New pro football league partners with MGM for in-game betting: Report

A new professional football league will partner with MGM to offer in-game betting through a proprietary digital gambling app, according to a report Monday.

The Alliance of American Football, which is set to begin play next February, created an app that will allow bettors to watch and gamble on games in real time, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported. The league’s players will use wearable devices to track in-game data such as sprinting speed, allowing for more accurate odds and unique wagers.

Aside from hosting the gambling app, MGM is one of the upstart’s leagues investors. At present, the app is only legal in two states – New Jersey and Nevada.

Since all of the AAF’s planned eight teams will be owned by the league, officials will not be subject to player union concerns about misused personal data that have dogged wearable technology in other pro leagues, such as the NBA and MLB. Unions largely oppose player data tracking, citing the potential negative implications of privacy.

The Supreme Court reversed a long-standing federal ban on sports betting last May. States can now introduce legislation to legalize sports betting on a case-by-case basis.

The NFL is among several professional sports leagues that has called on Congress to introduce a regulatory framework for sports betting on the federal level.

The AAF is one of two new leagues seeking to carve out a portion of the pro football market. The XFL, a league backed by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, is set to begin play in 2020.