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Vegas, Baby. The NHL Expansion is going to Vegas!

People who bet on NHL, look at it, baby. Vegas, baby! Las Vegas, Nevada has officially been awarded an expansion NHL team, which will begin play in the 2017-18 season. The league commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement on June, Wednesday 22nd in the ballroom of Encore at Wynn. The 31st franchise was approved unanimously in a vote held during the Board of Governors meeting. Starting with the 2017-18 season, you will be able to wager on the Las Vegas Name Pendings right here at BetNow sportsbook. The team’s principal owner billionaire Bill Foley will cover the $500 million expansion fee, which will be shared in equal parts by the remaining 30 teams.

This will be the first hockey expansion team since Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild in 2000. Most importantly, this will be the first major sports team to call Las Vegas its home, which many experts who bet on NHL expect to open the door for the NHL, NBA, and MLB (so many acronyms) to follow suit expand and/or relocate teams to Sin City. Although commissioner Bettman did say he doesn’t think the move to Vegas will be a “bellwether day” for sports betting in the United States. Oh Gary, you’re so money and you don’t even know it. Are we really expected to believe that from a man called BETtman? With a name like that you don’t have much of a choice, like Dr. Fries had no choice but to become Mr. Freeze.

The Las Vegas team will be the 8th in the Pacific Division and 15th in the Western Conference – the Eastern Conference has 16 teams. Both Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly emphasized the need for balance within conferences. The team will play at the recently opened T-Mobile Arena just outside the Strip – where the shrill cry of Basie’s fat brass section heralds the arrival of the young swingers. The season-ticket drive launched by Foley 16 months ago has received over 14,000 deposits. Foley expects 85%-90% of the attendance to be season-ticket holders – among which there will probably be many fans who bet on NHL at BetNow sportsbook.

There will be an expansion draft next summer to allow the Vegas team to pick one player from each of the existing 30 teams – at least 14 forwards, 9 defensemen and 3 goalkeepers. Moreover, the new team will be inserted into the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery with the same chances as the team that finishes with the third fewest points in the previous season. The goal is that the new franchise will be as competitive as possible, as soon as possible. As opposed to, you know, getting the other teams’ tired, poor, huddled masses, the wretched refuse, the homeless, the tempest-tost.