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PLL partners with Genius Sports to launch sports betting during 2020 PLL Championship Series

Today, the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) announced a partnership with Genius Sports as its official data and integrity partner for sports betting. While more details are yet to be announced, the PLL plans to allow fans to bet in some capacity on its 2020 Championship Series this summer.

Through this partnership, Genius Sports Group will power a host of live betting markets on the PLL for the first time, providing sportsbook operators in the U.S. and globally with critical new content. The partnership with Genius Sports is the culmination of the PLL’s desire to offer real-time betting markets to enhance the in-game fan experience.

“Today is a landmark day for not only the Premier Lacrosse League, but the sport of lacrosse,” PLL Co-Founder and CEO Mike Rabil said. “We feel like the PLL is the most innovative sports league in the world and today is another testament to the hard work of our leadership team. We’ve partnered with the premier data provider in Genius Sports and will continue to work closely with top-tier operators to ensure a first-in-class experience for betters. With the addition of legalized sports wagering in the PLL, the PLL fan experience just got better.”

Paul Rabil discussed several sports betting innovations, including tracking players’ vitals using wearable technology and providing that information with bettors. (Photo courtesy of the PLL)

Paul Rabil and Mike Rabil have discussed introducing sports betting to the PLL in the past, and see it as a way to attract net-new fans and drive TV viewership.

“Gambling drives viewership,” PLL Co-Founder and CMO Paul Rabil said in an interview with Front Office Sports. Gambling cannot only drive revenue now with the partnerships that are being cut but if we want to see increased viewership, stickiness among millennials and upwards, you gamify it.”

As the trusted integrity partner to the English Premier League, PGA and LPGA Tours, Genius Sports will also help to protect the PLL from any betting-related corruption through its leading educational and advisory services.

“The Genius Sports team has a proven track record of success in working with leagues to launch sports betting platforms,” Mike Rabil said. “Our partnership will offer services that span integrity education services, data collection and distribution as we work with state regulators and authorized gaming operators to cover the PLL.”

The PLL also announced that it has brought on distinguished gaming executives Sara Slane and A.G. Burnett as advisors. Slane previously served as the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Gaming Association (AGA) for over five years where she oversaw the effort to legalize sports betting in America.

While the details on how fans will be able to bet on games are yet to be revealed, Paul and Mike Rabil have revealed several innovations that are being discussed. One of these innovations is tracking PLL players’ vitals during games using wearable technology and sharing that information during their broadcasts to allow bettors to make informed, real-time betting decisions.

“If you look at prop betting, which is exciting for us, there are ways we can actually interact with our viewers—because we’re a single entity and more agile then the legacy leagues,” Paul Rabil said. “An example would be structuring with a wearable technology company, where we can get wearables on our players, integrate with NBC, deliver real-time feedback on player performance whether it’s hydration levels, heart rate, muscle expenditure throughout a game and that assists and encourages people to take what they’re seeing as a live viewer to the prop bet what they think is going to happen.”

With this news, the PLL has the opportunity to become the first professional lacrosse league to successfully implement sports betting in the U.S. The National Lacrosse League also announced earlier this year that they would implement sports gambling for the 2020 playoffs, but these plans were put on hold when they postponed their season due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let us know your thoughts on the PLL introducing sports betting this summer.

Hutton Jackson is a professional video editor, co-founder/host of Pro Lacrosse Talk and editor-in-chief of Lacrosse Playground. He is also an Emmy-winning associate producer with two major sports networks and oversees Lacrosse Playground's video content as the head coordinating producer. Hutton played four years of college lacrosse at DeSales University where his highest lacrosse accolade was being named to Inside Lacrosse's 2014 All-Name Team with current pros Challen Rogers, Deemer Class and Larken Kemp, an honor that didn't require stepping on the field. When he's not writing on lacrosse, he can usually be found diving around the crease in your local men's league and ranting about Baltimore and D.C. professional sports.

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