The world of sports gambling is about to get much more exciting, especially for the readers of Sports Illustrated.
On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated and 888, one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, announced an exclusive partnership to develop Sports Illustrated online sports betting and iGaming products in the United States, including the launch of SI Sportsbook later in 2021.
“We are thrilled to announce that Sports Illustrated is entering the online sports betting and iGaming space,” Authentic Brands Group founder, Chairman and CEO Jamie Salter said. “888 is one of the leaders in online betting and gaming globally and has outstanding technology, products and marketing capabilities, and we are excited to partner with them to offer an innovative product experience for sports fans.”
SI Sportsbook will first launch in Colorado, with more states to follow in the coming months. “We are excited about the potential to deliver our cutting-edge, proprietary sportsbook platform into the market, providing Sports Illustrated fans with a first-class betting and gaming experience,” 888 CEO Itai Pazner said.
This fall, Sports Illustrated is launching a robust array of betting information and comprehensive coverage along with in-depth analysis, tools and widgets on its digital platform. A gambling-themed issue of the iconic magazine will be published in August.
“Sports Illustrated is the most trusted brand name in sports, and trust in the gaming space is paramount,” said Ross Levinsohn, CEO of Maven, the operator of Sports Illustrated’s print and digital assets. “The editorial, content and betting experience will reflect the integrity and ethos that SI has maintained for more than six decades.”
In 2018, the United States Supreme Court reversed a 1992 federal law that banned sports gambling outside of Nevada, Montana and Delaware. Since that ruling, 22 states and Washington, D.C. have not only legalized sports betting but have an active betting marketplace. According to Legal Sports Report, another nine states are expected to activate their marketplace by the end of 2021 or the start of 2022 with a handful of other states currently voting on laws to legalize sports wagering.
Maven (OTC: MVEN) acquired the rights to operate Sports Illustrated from ABG in 2019. It plans to launch SI Sportsbook later this summer.