Elon Musk’s X, formerly Twitter, has forged a deal with a sports betting operator, BetMGM, the companies announced on Friday. The deal, which BetMGM describes as a “strategic partnership” with X, will see the operator becoming X’s exclusive Live Odds Sports Betting partner and will introduce access to the betting service on X.
Initially, X users in the U.S. will be able to explore the betting odds on pro football, with more professional and college sports to roll out over time. Through the new interface, users will be able to click through to reach BetMGM’s website or app where they can then place their bets, but the integration will continue to evolve over time, the company said, suggesting that a future version could make betting even easier on X.
“Sports never sleep on X and now with our strategic partnership with BetMGM, fans are practically in the front row. We’re bringing sports fans on X even closer to the action so they can cheer, and now bet, on their favorite teams,” said X CEO Linda Yaccarino in a statement about the new deal.
She also posted a shorter version of this statement to X itself, showing off a screenshot of what the betting integration would look like at launch. Here, a mocked-up image of Super Bowl LVIII on X showed images and select videos from the teams followed by a new section titled “Odds by BETMGM” at the bottom.
The partnership is another example of the different direction X is headed since Musk’s 2022 acquisition of the social network, then known as Twitter. His vision has expanded beyond social networking to see X becoming an “everything app,” so to speak, which includes not just text posts and media, but also creator content, subscriptions, live and recorded video, online shopping, payments and more.
The company’s app this week hit the top of the App Store after Tucker Carlson announced an interview with Putin would appear on X on Thursday, and from activity around explicit Drake photos (which had been circulating prior to the big spike in installs that sent the app to No. 1). Capping these viral moments, sports betting access through X — where sports commentary and conversations often take place — could attract a new audience, and help X maintain its high ranking. (The app remains No. 1 in the U.S. App Store as of Friday morning.)
Reached for comment, a rep for X didn’t offer details about if or how X would generate revenue from its new deal with BetMGM, but there’s likely an agreement in place, given the integration work required.
X has been in a tough situation from a financial standpoint. The company hasn’t yet moved away from a reliance on advertising but its owner has a habit of spooking X’s advertisers over brand safety concerns. Late last year, big-name brands like Apple, Disney, IBM and others put their campaigns on pause after Musk endorsed an antisemitic post, for example.
Those departures left X filled with lower-quality and spammy ads…and in search of new revenue streams.
“X is the center of the sports world’s conversation 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt, in a statement. “Being directly accessible within that forum is an unprecedented opportunity to expand our reach to a passionate and engaged audience. We look forward to adding intel and content that enhances the platform’s interaction around sports,” he added.