California's Sacramento Kings to launch precursor to in-arena sports
Send a link to a friend
[February 15, 2019]
By Hilary Russ
CHARLOTTE, N.C (Reuters) - Sports
betting is not yet legal in California, but the Sacramento Kings
want fans to come as close as they can to the real thing with a new
"predictive gaming" lounge.
Starting with the Kings' home game on March 17 against the Chicago
Bulls, some basketball fans will be able to place free "predictions"
on game outcomes in the new Sacramento Kings Skyloft Predictive
Gaming Lounge, Kings' owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé is expected
to announce on Friday.
"Predictive gaming is incredibly disruptive and will only continue
to gain popularity in the NBA and beyond," Ranadivé said in a
statement. "Working with industry leaders like Swish Analytics
allows us to test and perfect this technology to give fans the best
experience in future seasons."
It may be the next closest thing to legal sport wagering, without
the gnashed teeth and lost money. No other team in the National
Basketball Association has a similar lounge for predictive gaming or
Legal sports betting is spreading quickly to new states since the
U.S. Supreme Court in May overturned a 1992 federal law that had
banned the activity almost everywhere outside of Nevada. Eight
states currently offer some legal sports wagers, with at least 21
others actively considering it this year.
The Kings' optimism may face long odds, however, since California is
not among the states with legislation introduced this year to
legalize sports wagers. Also potentially slowing the roll-out there
is a complicated regulatory approval process and concern by powerful
tribal casinos about retaining control of gaming.
[to top of second column]
Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (35) dunks the ball
against Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) during the fourth
quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA
If and when it does come online, California would mark a major
development for the burgeoning U.S. market because of its large
population and proximity to Nevada, meaning it could eat into
Nevada's sports betting stronghold in the western half of the
Until then, Kings fans will at least get to pretend. Ticketholders
in certain sections will get free credits with which to make
"predictions" on the game, including margin of victory, total team
points, player blocks, turnovers, steals, triple-doubles and more.
Winning "guesses" earn more credits, and the five fans with the
highest totals then earn raffle tickets for autographed Kings gear
and game tickets.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Leslie Adler)
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.