After announcing its new partnership with BetMGM late last month, X has now released its new display of sports betting odds in-stream, just in time for the Super Bowl this weekend.
Ahead of the Big Game this Sunday, we’re excited to announce an EXCLUSIVE Sports Betting Partnership between @X and #BetMGM
The first-of-its-kind partnership between a premier social media brand and a sports betting operator will integrate BetMGM’s odds and branding into X,… pic.twitter.com/8q4WUglZfW
— BetMGM ???? (@BetMGM) February 9, 2024
As you can see in this example, X’s new sports betting odds graphics will be displayed to users who search for sports event-related topics. The odds will also include a direct link through to the BetMGM website, where users can place bets on that event.
It’s a smart integration for BetMGM, given broader engagement around sports in the app, and the direct attention among sports gamblers specifically, who already use the platform to keep up with real-time updates around live events.
Indeed, back in 2022, research showed that gamblers view Twitter as a key source for predictions, injury reports, statistics, and other news, with 72% of sports gamblers staying in touch via tweets, in order to follow the live status of their wagers.
The study also showed that Twitter (now X) user spend 15% more on bets annually, with 62% placing bets weekly.
As such, it’s a no brainer for BetMGM, though it does also come with a higher level of risk for X, in aligning itself with the risks associated with problem gambling.
Various studies have explored the potential harmful impacts of sports gambling promotions on social media, with X being a key focus in such activity. And already, regulatory bodies in the U.S., and in other nations, are looking to implement new rules to restrict sports betting promotions. With this in mind, it does seem likely that this new agreement will bring more scrutiny onto X, at the least, and could lead to more calls to ban sports betting promotions entirely, particularly given that these new odds displays will be presented to all users, including younger audiences, in the app.
Also worth noting: The same research report referenced above also showed that a third of all gamblers would not place as many bets if it wasn’t for Twitter, both because of the information they can glean from other users, as well as the conversations surrounding major events.
It seems likely that this will bring more of a spotlight on X in this respect. Yet at the same time, X needs to start bringing in money.
The platform’s ad revenue is still reportedly down around 50% on pre-Elon levels, and this new arrangement will, at the least, help to bring in more money from BetMGM direct, not to mention other sports betting outlets that may be more interested in X advertising as a result.
Is it a good thing? There’s a reason other apps have avoided delving into gambling odds in the past, but then again, if X really wants to be an “everything app”, gambling is another element it’ll eventually want to lean into.
It’ll be interesting to see how this is viewed by regulators moving forward.