Why the 76ers are embracing the sports betting industry


It seems the majority of US sportsbooks are Sixers fans; not only are they backing them to make the final of the Eastern Conference playoffs but they are lining up to sign partnerships with the Pennsylvania-based franchise.

Joel Embiid continues to set the NBA alight as the Philadelphia 76ers look to build on their semi-final playoff defeat last season. But the Sixers are also enjoying off-court success, registering their 100th consecutive sellout game last week. The Sixers ticket prices are $24 more than the league average.

Ticket sales may be going well, but that hasn’t stopped the 76ers from cashing in on the booming online betting industry. Online sports betting was legalised at a national level in 2018 after the supreme court ruled the PASPA unconstitutional. A number of states, including Pennsylvania, were quick to change their laws and allow sportsbook to set up within their borders.

Almost immediately after the national ruling in 2018, the NBA signed an official gaming partnership with the NBA. But it has been the 76ers which remain the only individual NBA team to have signed a partnership with a sportsbook.

The Sixers have, so far, signed agreements with three of the six active sports betting sites in Pennsylvania. The first agreement came with Caesars – and was the first NBA-casino operator partnership. The deal also included the NHL New Jersey Devils team. The agreement means that Caesars will be allowed to place ads at the Wells Fargo Center. Although this deal was promoted as a casino partnership, it’s no coincidence that it came soon after the company launched its sports betting app in PA.

A year later the Sixers became the first NBA team to sign an ‘official winning partner’. This slightly obscure title allows a ‘win for all promotion’ to be offered to Parx customers, which would provide them with an exclusive bonus free play on the Sixers. The financial details have been kept confidential.

Last week, the Sixers announced their biggest partnership yet – an official partner deal with Fox Bet. This deal gives Fox Bet with the rights to ‘near-live game replays on Twitter as well as the official presenting partner of the 76ers radio game broadcast. It will also mean that there will be some boosted odds offered by Fox Bet on the 76ers.

Again, the financials have not been disclosed but it is most likely a lucrative deal for the NBA team. It could prove a shrewd move with Fox Bet looking to lure Pennsylvanian fans of the Sixers away from DraftKings and FanDuel who are looking to dominate the PA betting market.

The popularity of the 76ers should come as no surprise considering they are the only NBA team in the two states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania that have the most attractive legal sports betting markets. By partnering with a popular team, NBA sportsbooks can win over a certain amount of the local market share. For NBA teams the advantage is purely financial – and how much they look to gain, we might never know.