Commissioner Gary Bettman, appearing on PodcastOne Sports Now on Tuesday, said that anyone looking to conduct gambling business using the NHL’s intellectual property, data or game video will need to negotiate with the league.
“We've historically been opposed to extending sports betting on our game, and emotionally I don’t think that's changed,” he told guest host Larry Lage. “It is a fact of life that in light of the Supreme Court's ruling, and it'll be up to states to decided whether or not they're going to enact sports betting.
“From our standpoint, we believe that, whether its our intellectual property, our data, whether its video of our game, we have important assets and if somebody is going to avail themselves or want to avail themselves of those assets in order to conduct their business, then we're going to need to have a negotiation.”
The nine-and-a-half-minute segment touched on a wide variety of topics, including the collective bargaining agreement, which expires in 2022, but the league and NHL Players’ Association each have the chance to opt out in September of 2019.
“It takes two sides to avoid a labor dispute,” he said. “Whether or not it's a strike or a lockout, it’s the same thing. It just means you haven’t been able to reach an agreement.”
The league has gone through three work stoppages during Bettman’s time as NHL commissioner. Teams played lockout-shortened seasons in 1994-95 and 2012-13, while losing the 2004-05 season entirely.
The most recent CBA, signed in early 2013, established term limits on contracts, among other changes. The current trend of players’ large signing bonuses could be a sign of looming stoppage. Olympic participation and escrow will be on the docket for the upcoming negotiations.
“My hope is we continue to have the labor peace that we've experienced for the last few years because nobody enjoys either collective bargaining or the inability to reach an agreement and then having a work stoppage,” Bettman said. “We hope very much that we can continue to have labor peace because it's worked very well in terms of what everybody sees on the ice and the growth of the game."