Just three days after the Vegas Golden Knights announced a long-term agreement with Mexican-based sports betting tout UpickTrade, the NHL team put a stop to the arrangement on Saturday. The brief partnership met with criticism on social media.
“The Vegas Golden Knights have ended their sponsorship agreement with UpickTrade,” the team announced Saturday. “The organization will not have additional comments on the matter at this time.”
On Wednesday, a press release stated UpickTrade would become an “Official Sports Pick Service Partner” of the Golden Knights. It was billed as the first partnership between an NHL franchise and a Mexican-based company.
In a statement heralding the partnership, UpickTrade Carlos Lazo Reyes noted both his company and the Golden Knights got their start in 2017. Reyes said his company has more than 6,000 paid subscribers.
“It is a historic moment in the sports betting market,” Reyes said. “We are the first sports recommendation pick service to partner with a major professional sports franchise.”
Concerns Raised at the Onset
On its site, UpickTrade says it uses a “tool” to determine the chances of one team beating another, using “historic data” in making its picks. It tracks NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB games. For each league, the company charges $89 a month for the service.
“Built for sports enthusiasts and traders to save time and improve their overall sports trading strategy,” the company’s website states.
But in the website’s fine print it says that “in no way are we an investment option.”
Critics of the deal raised concerns as soon as the announcement posted Wednesday. Among some of the points raised were whether Upick would still be able to make bet recommendations for or against the Golden Knights, and if the service would get information about the team’s injuries or roster changes.
Others focused on the optics of the deal.
Hey @GoldenKnights – who is the official payday loan shop of the Golden Knights? …and if I’m looking to buy some snake oil – who wears the official Vegas Golden Knights badge for that?” tweeted noted sports bettor “Captain Jack Andrews” shortly after the announcement Wednesday.
While the press announcement was still online as of Sunday, the Golden Knights have pulled their tweet regarding the partnership.
Golden Knights Still Partner with Gaming Companies
To be clear, the concern behind the now-ended partnership isn’t tied to sports betting. Rather, it’s about partnering with a company that recommends what picks its subscribers should make.
The Golden Knights, who play their games in an arena located at an MGM Resorts International property, still have established partnerships with several gaming and sports betting enterprises. That includes Caesars, Circa Casino and Sports Book, the Cosmopolitan, IGT, MGM Resorts, BetMGM, Resorts World, San Manuel Casino, Station Casinos, The D Las Vegas, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, William Hill, and Wynn Resorts.
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