This development has raised some concerns. According to Fortune, X has recently entered into a new agreement with BetMGM, MGM Resorts’ online gambling arm. This collaboration will soon result in the inclusion of betting odds on X, accompanied by links guiding users to place bets through BetMGM’s service.
The compatibility of these two entities seems questionable, especially considering the challenges associated with regulating online betting promotions in different regions with varying laws.
However, it’s worth noting that betting advertisements and odds displays are already firmly integrated into live event coverage. Given that X is a prominent platform for online engagement during live events, the partnership starts to make sense in that context.
The initial code for this update has already been implemented in the backend of the X app. X News Daily shared the updated code string today, revealing that X will display various odds elements through its connection to BetMGM. Importantly, the update will not facilitate bets in-stream, which would be a significant departure.
What remains intriguing is how this integration will impact X’s approach to gambling promotions and whether the platform will need to revise its rules to accommodate this new initiative.
According to X’s existing regulations, the promotion of gambling content is prohibited, except for campaigns targeting specified countries where it is allowed with restrictions. The rules also highlight the diverse laws around gambling promotions that may restrict X’s actions in this partnership. Nonetheless, BetMGM is likely eager to leverage X’s extensive audience reach to boost betting activity.
The attitude of regulatory bodies, especially in the U.S. and other nations, towards sports betting promotions is another key consideration. Concerns about the potential harm of gambling, particularly among younger audiences, have led these bodies to explore new rules restricting such promotions.
The inclusion of betting odds within X, a platform where real-time discussions about sports events occur frequently, is expected to raise additional concerns and attract more scrutiny to the platform owned by Elon Musk.
Despite these concerns, X is facing financial challenges, with ad revenue reportedly down around 50% compared to pre-Elon levels. Elon Musk’s outspoken opinions on various contentious topics continue to be a hindrance to the platform’s advertising potential. Consequently, X may be exploring alternative revenue sources, with promoting gambling odds being one potential avenue.
However, this move is viewed by some as a step in a concerning direction for the app. While Elon Musk’s “freedom of speech” approach may justify such in-stream promotions technically, it also raises questions about the platform’s potential willingness to monetize more controversial elements, drawing parallels to past considerations by other platforms, such as Twitter contemplating the monetization of adult content.