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“It’s the New Crypto Pump”: Controversial Deals Featuring Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, and Auston Matthews Stir Up Debate in Hockey Community

Published 01/14/2023, 2:15 PM EST

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For his athletic prowess and sporting fame, Wayne Gretzky has been a part of many endorsements. From endorsing Coca-Cola to collaborating with Japanese electronics company, Sharp corporation, the Great One has covered every major brand there is. Interestingly, while the White Tornado’s synergy with every other organization is appreciated, his endorsement of a private corporation became a topic of debate. 

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Last year, Wayne Gretzky joined the forces with the private gambling company, BetMGM. However, he is not the only ice hockey icon who concerted with the gambling organization. NHL legends like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews also came on board with Gretzky to endorse BetMGM. But, their ambassadorship with an organization that supports sports betting became a topic of discussion within the NHL fraternity. 

Fans’ perspectives on Wayne Gretzky’s gambling commercial


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Recently, CBC News took to its Twitter handle to share the news of the Great One’s consortium with the private gambling organization. As per the report, Gretzky, McDavid, and Matthews “were contacted by the Fifth Estate as part of an investigation into sports betting”. But, they “refused to talk about their brands”.

Moreover, following posting the tweet, many fans started a thread of comments. While some fans supported the NHL prodigies the other reactions didn’t favor any of BetMGM’s brand ambassadors.


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Fans who supported the ice hockey champions wrote:

“A story that may bring negative attention to the brand they promote is probably not something they can/should comment on”

“You do realize that when you’re under contract you’re not allowed to bad mouth the company you’re working for, right? Why do you think it’s news that they’re obeying the terms of their contract? I don’t like scammy ads either, but this is such a useless angle”

Why don’t you focus more on our federal government performance?”

“Don’t Believe Anything You Hear”: Wayne Gretzky Was Bewildered by His Father’s Reaction to His Controversial Trade In 2022

On the other hand, sporting fanatics who don’t support gambling penned:

Blame the govt for allowing constant sports betting ads, it’s the new crypto pump

So sick of the bombardment of sports betting/online casino ads and the athletes & celebrities that push it. Rogers, Bell to Auston, Conner, Gretz,  all the “D” class celebs, etc. all peddling addiction


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The advertising for sport betting is too much

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Clearly, not many NHL fans are happy with the endorsement. And, CBC has already detailed its perspective on the promotional activities pursued by the hockey stars. What do you think about the Great One’s support of BetMGM? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

WATCH THIS STORY – The Great One: What Is Wayne Gretzky’s Golf Handicap



Purva Jain

509 articles

Purva Jain is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Mody University of Science and Technology. Purva is an avid reader and author of 3 books that are published in national and international marketplaces.