William Hill has become the first ever official betting partner of a professional sports team in the United States after coming to an agreement with the Las Vegas Lights FC of the United Soccer League (USL).

William Hill sports partnerships
William Hill operates the sportsbook at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, which just opened for business on Thursday. (Image: Reuters)

The bookmaker will promote its mobile betting platform at matches played by the second-tier professional soccer club, and will offer a wide variety of traditional and in-play betting options on the team.

Gambling Promos Popular for Lights

Fans of the Lights who register for William Hill accounts using a promotional code will also get free five dollar bets each time the team wins a match at Cashman Field.

William Hill is an ideal partner for a pro sports team in Las Vegas, team owner Brett Lashbrook said in a statement. What other pro sports team pays its fans when it wins?

The Lights are no stranger to gambling-related promotions. A partnership with the Plaza casino sees every player on the team receive $100 in chips each time the squad scores three or more goals in a home win.

A partnership with the Las Vegas Lights, who are currently 13th in the USLs Western Conference, may seem like a small and quirky sponsorship for William Hill. But the bookmaker says it is the beginning of a trend, as numerous teams have approached the company about making similar deals.

More Betting Partnerships to Come

On Wednesday, William Hill US CEO Joseph Asher told Reuters that his company had been inundated with requests from American sports franchises ever since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) last month. And with more states soon to follow on the heels of Delaware and New Jersey in regulating sports betting, its easy to understand why teams want to get on board.

William Hill makes particular sense as a partner because of its heavy US presence. Not only does the bookmaker operate dozens of sportsbooks in Nevada, it also operates the betting operation at Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey, which just took its first sports bets on Thursday.

The leagues and the teams are interested in doing commercial deals, Asher told Reuters. He also claimed that the CEO of one of the most prominent franchises in the country had talked to him about a possible partnership even before PASPA was overturned, though he did not reveal the name of any teams William Hill might be speaking with.

But while sports betting deals may someday be commonplace for American teams, much as they are in the UK and some other countries, the Lights will always be able to say that they were the first to do so.

We want to be the first team in North America to go to the top of the mountain and screen to our fans to take out their phones and bet on the game happening right in front of their eyes, Lashbrook told LVSportsBiz.com.

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