What happened 

Shares of MGM Resorts (MGM -5.01%) jumped as much as 5.5% in trading Thursday after the company announced a new online sports-betting partnership. At the market close, shares were up 4.2% on the day. 

So what

MGM's sports-betting venture BetMGM announced a partnership with The Athletic digital sports-media company. The Athletic will use BetMGM as its exclusive sports-betting partner and create The Athletic Betting Hub. 

Two people betting on a game on a mobile phone.

Image source: Getty Images.

This gives BetMGM access to over 1 million paying subscribers around the world and will add media content around the betting platform. BetMGM is still only available in a fraction of the country, but getting exposure to customers on sites like The Athletic could help cultivate customers long term.

Now what

The gambling industry has pushed hard into online gambling, and partnerships with sports leagues and media companies have been key to the growth strategy. As one of the bigger names in sports, The Athletic could be a key partner for BetMGM trying to establish itself in the space. There's still a lot of competition ahead, but the room for growth as sports gambling is opened up across the U.S. could make MGM Resorts a long-term growth stock for investors.