Circa bounces into SlamBall partnership as betting options expand

SlamBall court
Image: David Becker/Getty Images for SlamBall

The revival of the early aughts basketball and trampoline hybrid sport SlamBall is underway and the sport is already getting both mainstream media airplay and attention from several sportsbooks. It also has the financial investment of heavyweights like NBA star Blake Griffin, Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, and Gary Vaynerchuk. Sharp Alpha Advisors, which includes several gaming companies in its portfolio, is also an investor.

In June, the revived league signed a two-year broadcast deal with ESPN which is already underway. Games are currently airing on ESPN2 and will also appear on ESPN and ESPN+, culminating with the playoffs Aug. 17-19 in Las Vegas.

There are also a growing number of sportsbook operators getting in on the action. However, there are still only a handful of states where SlamBall betting is available.

Last week, Circa Casino announced it would become a founding partner of the league and offer basic moneyline, spread, and totals wagers on league games.

“[This] marks a monumental day for SlamBall. Since the relaunch was announced, not a day has passed that I haven’t been asked numerous times about when fans could bet on our games. I am thrilled that today is that day,” SlamBall CEO Mason Gordon told SBC Americas. “We couldn’t be more delighted that Circa, the most respected sportsbook in the country, is the first operator in Nevada to offer SlamBall odds. And this is just the beginning. We have always believed that SlamBall is an ideal fit for sports betting, both pre-game and in-game. This presents a fantastic opportunity to meet the desires of our passionate fanbase. The future of SlamBall looks incredibly promising as it takes its place in the ever-evolving sports betting landscape. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Cira continues to invest in more obscure sports. In June, the property announced a partnership with Dana White’s PowerSlap league. In addition to offering odds on slap fighting, the casino itself also signed on as the official casino and hotel for the venture. The terms of the agreement include PowerSlap watch parties at Circa Swim in addition to hosting live PowerSlap events.

Last month, PowerSlap’s partner, Alt Sports Data, discussed the process that goes into developing and mobilizing betting market for these niche sporting events.

For some leagues, the process of getting buy-in from sportsbooks and, in turn, regulators, can take a long time. That is not the case for SlamBall, which has been on a lightning-fast trajectory. The formation of the league was announced in March and, since then, the league has launched with a broadcast deal and amassed a growing list of sportsbooks offering odds on games.

BetMGM is also offering SlamBal odds, but currently, they are only available in Arizona. Investors are hoping the demand for the market will expand into more states soon though.

“The demand for Slamball betting lines has exceeded our loftiest expectations, especially with games being broadcast regularly on ESPN. The sport disproportionately appeals to the betting audience and has been purpose-built to capitalize on this interest,” Sharp Alpha Advisors’s Lloyd Danzig told SBC Americas.

As Danzig noted, the league does strategically fill voids for sportsbooks, particularly in these final weeks before the start of football season. However, it is unlikely too many more states will approve the offering for the inaugural season. If the momentum keeps rolling for SlamBall though, the 2024 season could be available to wager on in more states than not.