NHL May Be Closer to Setting Up Team in Vegas

Written by:
Ean Lamb
Published on:
NHL May Be Closer to Setting Up Team in Vegas

The National Hockey League board of governors are set to hold meetings next month in Las Vegas, an event signaled as the NHL warming up to having a team based in the gambling capital.  It is here they will formerly announce the expansion process.


If this town gets an NHL team, all gambling lingo will be eschewed by the prospective owners, Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star suggests.

DiManno points out that the NHL’s anti-gambling stance has spread beyond the U.S. border into Canada over previous years.

While Vegas hosts PGA tournaments, Ultimate Fighting and rodeo championships, plus frequent boffo boxing spectacles such as last week’s Mayweather-Pacquiao prize fight, pro leagues have stayed away, largely worried about players falling under the influence of gambling. The NBA was so averse to wagering — former Commissioner David Stern liked to pretend nobody bet on his product — that Ontario and British Columbia had to pull the NBA off Proline as a condition of Toronto and Vancouver acquiring franchises in 1995.

It’s not just fears over Las Vegas’ gambling ties that have the league concerned over setting up a franchise there.  Opponents argue that games played in Vegas would attract mostly tourists as opposed to locals, thus depriving the team of developing a loyal fan base.

Billy Johnson, former President of the ECHL Wranglers Hockey team, said it best.

“The NHL doesn’t want a situation where the home team is playing in front of 40 per cent of the crowd rooting against them. At the end of the day, any sports team that counts on a tourist market to fill their seats is going to have a tough go of it.”

- Ean Lamb, Gambling911.com



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