NBA seals partnership with Uruguayan gaming operator

10 December 2018

North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) has moved to enhance its presence in the Latin American sports betting market by striking up a partnership with Uruguayan operator Supermatch.

Supermatch, the designated sports betting operator of the Uruguayan national lottery, will now serve as the first official gaming partner of the NBA in the South American country.

The domestic operator will promote the partnership in more than 6,000 retail locations throughout Uruguay, while both Supermatch and the NBA will showcase the new agreement via its various online platforms.

The deal also allows Supermatch to use official NBA data and branding across its land-based and digital sports betting services. In addition, the two parties will work together on initiatives to protect the integrity of NBA games.

“Supermatch is the exclusive authorised gaming operator in Uruguay, and our new partnership will offer more ways for our passionate fans to connect and experience the excitement of our game,” said Arnon de Mello, vice president and managing director for Latin America at the NBA.

Roberto Palermo, president of La Banca, Uruguay’s national lottery, added: “Through this new partnership, our clients will not only continue to enjoy our gaming offers, but they will also get even closer to the action with the chance to win NBA prizes and unique NBA experiences.”

The deal is something of an unusual move by the NBA, which, historically, does not have strong links with Uruguay. Esteban Batista is the only Uruguayan to have played in the NBA, spending two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks from 2005 until 2007.

However, the partnership does mark the latest in a series of deals that the NBA has agreed in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling on PASPA, which has allowed states to begin legalising sports betting across the country.

In August, the NBA became the first professional sports league in the US to sign a deal with a gambling company when it entered an agreement with MGM Resorts. MGM has since followed up on this by securing similar deals with Major League Baseball and the NHL ice hockey league.

MGM does not currently have a presence in Uruguay and is unlikely to directly benefit from the new deal with Supermatch.

In addition, the NBA last month announced Sportradar and Genius Sports as its first data partners in the US, with the agreement allowing both companies to offer official NBA data to sports betting operators across the country.

Away from the US, the NBA in November brokered a deal with La Française des Jeux (FDJ), making the French gaming giant its first European gaming partner.

Image: Keith Allison / Tim Frazier