Bettors in the Garden State of New Jersey are about to experience an innovative new form of sports wagering after a deal involving Verizon Media and Entain (formerly GVC Holdings) appears set to offer immersive sports and entertainment opportunities through one of Entain’s most popular brands, leading NJ online sportsbook, BetMGM. Entain, through BetMGM, already has an existing business partnership with Verizon Media, which owns Yahoo Sports. BetMGM is integrated throughout Yahoo Sports across the United States and in several states where sports wagering is on offer, bettors can place a wager with BetMGM without being required to sign out of the Yahoo Sports app. “Along with betting on the Entain platforms on live streaming sports events, the goal is to create realistic, immersive experiences for sports fans, such as being in the stadium, participating in play, competing and betting on outcomes on the Entain platforms”, according to the Entain media release of the deal. Already, according to Entain research, more than 65% of its sports bettors across its brands including BetMGM combine their wagering with social media. This, they say, is a natural next step. Amidst that collaborative backdrop, Verizon Media and Entain will cooperate in the development of a unique virtual reality experience that will seek to combine live sports viewing with interactive layers of sports data and wagering. Customers will be able to participate in sports events, check data, socialize with friends, and place wagers on Entain platforms such as BetMGM NJ here in the U.S, and other well-known global brands like bwin, Ladbrokes, PartyPoker and Coral. The financial terms of the deal have not been released by the two parties involved. Naturally, Verizon and Entain are ecstatic with the deal, however, enthusiasm for the partnership extends far beyond the companies themselves and the sports bettors ready to immerse themselves in the new technology. The professional sports leagues are excited about the concept too. The NHL and the NBA welcome the concept of ‘Content Experiences’ NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver went on the record as giving the concept of the Verizon – Bet MGM deal a massive vote of support. “The expanding sports betting landscape presents exciting opportunities to increase fan engagement and leverage emerging technologies. MGM Resorts (BetMGM), a valued partner of the NHL, along with Yahoo, a leading media brand, will connect fans to the action on the ice in new and innovative ways.” Bettman enthused. Meanwhile, Adam Silver can’t wait to engage his league’s fans in the concept; “As sports betting continues to transform the industry, this partnership brings together the power of two trusted partners of the NBA. By working together, MGM Resorts (BetMGM) and Yahoo Sports will offer fans unprecedented ways to engage with our game” Silver said. How exactly does Verizon & Entain see the experience working? Part of the idea comes from the rebranding of GVC Holdings to Entain, where the company’s overhaul sees the gaming and sports betting behemoth positioning itself as a wider part of the technology/media/sports holy trinity rather than purely an online gambling operator. Entain’s Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev explains further; “We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially, compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players” Segev ruminated. Verizon have the world’s first 5G-enabled production studios in London and Los Angeles ready to host the immersive platform, allowing Entain and its brands like BetMGM NJ to bring creative extended reality content to its users in a uniquely interactive and immersive format.