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Bettman’s Flip-Flop: NHL Supporters Slam Commissioner on Gambling Stance

Fans have taken notice of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s shift in position regarding sports gambling.

Sports reporter Darren Rovell on X (previously Twitter) brought attention to this change in viewpoint by highlighting the sharp differences between Bettman’s previous and current opinions.

Bettman was one of the sports commissioners who vehemently opposed allowing sports gambling just ten years ago and sent briefs to the Supreme Court to stop the growth of sports betting.

But since then, as sports betting has become legal and widely accepted in many jurisdictions, the landscape of gambling and sports entertainment has changed.

The partnership between BetMGM and the NHL, which produced an online slot game with logos from all 32 NHL teams, is the most recent move that has drawn the attention of both fans and critics.

This decision reverses Bettman’s position and implies that the potential profit from these kinds of alliances should not be disregarded.

Fans have voiced their opinions on social media. A supporter responded:

As of 2023, Gary Bettman is estimated to have a net worth of $110 million. With three decades of experience in the industry, Bettman has accumulated over $166 million from his tenure in the NHL.

The league has landed media deals thanks to Bettman’s leadership, including a $2 billion, 10-year contract with NBC in 2011. In 2020, there was another seven-year extension.

These long-term agreements have improved Bettman’s financial situation and substantially increased league revenue. A noteworthy accomplishment throughout his tenure has been adding organizations to the NHL.

In addition to providing revenue streams for the league, these organizations’ expansion fees also indirectly increased Bettman’s wealth. For instance, the Seattle Kraken paid a $650 million expansion fee to enter the league in 2021. This strengthened the league’s stability even further.

The NHL commissioner has benefited from partnerships with well-known companies like PepsiCo, Honda, Adidas, and other significant businesses.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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