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Sacramento Kings Unveil New Predictive Game, Jump to the Forefront of Betting

Feb 06, 2019 10:50 PM EST
  • The Sacramento Kings unveiled a new predictive game on Monday for fans at home and in the arena.
  • The game closely mimics betting and is sponsored by MGM.

With sports betting gaining steam, the Sacramento Kings are updating their three-year-old “Call The Shot” game to closer mimic gambling.

The game’s new features, which can be found in the team’s app and launched on Monday night, allow fans to wager hypothetical coins on top scorers and rebounders, among other things, per quarter and for the game.

The game is sponsored by MGM, which is the official gaming partner of the NBA. MGM also sponsors the eight Wizards alternative betting broadcasts, which feature predictive gaming, on NBC Sports Washington.

“Sports betting is going to disrupt the entire business model,” said Kings chief technology officer Ryan Montoya. “It’s our goal to engage with our fans in a way that they want us to engage with them, to adapt and to be part of what’s happening.

The second-screen game can be played at home or at the arena, but those at the arena have an advantage — they can receive additional coins or “power up” their bet by taking pictures of MGM logos around the Golden 1 Center.

California figures to be one of the last states to adopt sports gambling. It has more tribes than any other state, and tribes, in general, oppose sports gambling because it’s not clear how they can play in the space.

In the meantime, the prevailing thought is that sports betting threatens to cannibalize their gaming monopoly.

“Call The Shot” is not considered gambling because it’s technically a raffle, where there’s no purchase necessary. There also aren’t cash prizes. Fans can win game tickets, experiences or signed merchandise. The prize delivery and live scoreboards are facilitated by Amazon.

Montoya says the goal is eventually to integrate the game with live television broadcasts.

The game is built by mixed reality company Xperiel.

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