Elon Musk’s X Jumps Into Sports Gambling Arena With BetMGM Pact (but Won’t Let You Place Bets Directly)

Just days before the kickoff of this year’s Super Bowl, X, the social-media platform owned by billionaire Elon Musk previously called Twitter, launched a new partnership to display betting odds to users in the U.S.

BetMGM on Friday announced an agreement with X to become the platform’s exclusive live-odds sports betting partner. Under the deal, X will integrate BetMGM’s odds info and branding, with each game linking to BetMGM’s website and app to allow users to place wagers (where legally permissible).

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X users in the U.S. will be able to see BetMGM’s latest betting odds on NFL pro football, with major professional and college sports expected to follow “in the coming weeks.” According to BetMGM, “The odds interface provides an easy clickthrough for each game to BetMGM’s app or website, creating a seamless user experience.”

“X is the center of the sports world’s conversation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Being directly accessible within that forum is an unprecedented opportunity to expand our reach to a passionate and engaged audience,” BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said in a statement.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino commented: “Sports never sleep on X and now with our strategic partnership with BetMGM, fans are practically in the front row. We’re bringing sports fans on X even closer to the action so they can cheer, and now bet, on their favorite teams.”

BetMGM, a partnership between MGM Resorts International and online-gambling company Entain, has exclusive access to all of MGM’s U.S. land-based and online sports betting, major tournament poker and online gaming businesses.

Musk, currently the world’s richest person, says he overpaid in his $44 billion takeover deal for Twitter in 2022 — which he rechristened X and has refashioned into his vision of what a “free speech” platform should be.

In late October 2023, just over a year after Musk closed the Twitter deal, X notified employees eligible for stock grants that they would receive shares at a valuation of $19 billion, down more than 50% from the transaction’s original value. Advertising revenue has plunged as much as 60% (according to Musk himself), amid ongoing concerns about hate speech and misinformation — which has included Musk’s thumbs-up of an antisemitic post on X that led to an exodus of advertisers including Disney.

Musk has said X/Twitter is “moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” which he claimed is necessary to combat bots flooding the platform. Going forward, according to Musk, X will be free to read “but $1/year to write.” The company last fall launched a test to charge users $1 per year to post to the platform in the Philippines and New Zealand.

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