Slane to work with NHL and its teams
The NHL has retained a well-connected former gaming industry executive to consult on commercial sports betting opportunities for both the league and its U.S. teams.
Sara Slane, the former American Gaming Association senior vice president who spearheaded the casino industry’s push to legalize sports betting, will help the league and those teams navigate an expanding and complex landscape with regulatory frameworks that vary widely from state to state.
“This will give our clubs the opportunity to tap into her expertise but also her resources with these [casino] entities as they explore opportunities in those local markets,” said NHL Chief Revenue Officer Keith Wachtel. “It’s also a commitment to partner together to take our national business from the three [sports betting] partners we have [MGM, William Hill and FanDuel] and grow that significantly.”
Slane will be available to all 24 U.S. clubs through a one-year retainer paid by the league. Those desiring additional services can hire her at a contracted “friends and family” rate, Wachtel said. The NHL is Slane’s first league client since launching the Slane Advisory consulting practice earlier this month. Slane also will continue to consult for the AGA and expects to add media and tech clients, but has said she will not represent individual gaming clients to avoid perceptions of conflict of interest.
Before joining the AGA in 2014, Slane worked in government affairs for MGM Resorts International.
“Given that this is rolling out on a state-by-state basis and every state has its own unique framework, it only makes sense that the clubs can use some help in navigating that landscape and finding the best partner,” said Slane, an SBJ Forty Under 40 selection this year. “For anyone that doesn’t understand gaming, the natural assumption was that everything would roll out similarly to New Jersey. That’s just not realistic. But you can get out on the front end in making connections between the operators and clubs so that when legislation is pending, everyone is singing from the same song sheet and realizing how legislative and regulatory hurdles can impact the business.”