Featured in this article:
  • NFL Announces Partnership With DraftKings, Caesars, and FanDuel
  • Sportsbook Partners Will Have Access to NFL Trademarks
  • NFL Hope to Capitalize on Betting Legalization Trend

In a sign of how far sports betting has come in just a few years, the NFL announced deals with three sportsbook operators. As partners, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel will be able to prominently display NFL trademarks. In exchange, the sportsbooks will blend their betting lines and information into official NFL media. Broadcasts, websites, and the NFL mobile App are all expected to see content integration with the new sportsbook partners.

NFL – Sportsbook Marriage Was Inconceivable but Inevitable

It was merely five years ago that the NFL prevented Tony Romo from attending a fantasy football convention. Any connection between the League and gambling interests was avoided at all costs. But as the drumbeat towards legalized gambling began beating louder, cracks appeared in the NFL stance.

Allegiant Stadium Las Vegas Raiders

Will the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium feature a sportsbooks?

First, the NFL allowed the Raiders to move to Las Vegas, the mecca of American gambling. Then, the League offered a tepid “no comment” on attempts to allow additional states to regulate sports betting. By the time the Saints announced they sold the Superdome naming rights to Caesars, the writing was on the wall. The NFL was in the business of betting.

Ever since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, a federal law limiting sportsbooks to Nevada, states have lined up to cash in. Just this month, New York, Arizona, Maryland, and Wyoming lawmakers added their states to the growing list of sports betting friendly locations.

What Will NFL Sportsbook Partnership Mean?

Being an official partner of the NFL is big business for sportsbooks. The League actively polices the use of its trademarks and copyrights. Just ask anyone who has been forced to throw a “Big Game” party.

As partners paying for the rights, DraftKings, Caesars, and FanDuel prevent any contention or blowback from their biggest draw. Football betting rules everything in the American wagering market. Now, these three sportsbooks can openly advertise their access to the NFL.

For the NFL, this is a new and potentially lucrative revenue stream. By integrating betting content – including supposed free-to-play games – the League commands more eyes and attention.

Cleveland Browns Fans

Can sportsbooks help the NFL continue drawing hordes of fans?

Additionally, technology poses a long-term challenge to the viability of large crowds for NFL games. Part of the mystique of watching games are the rowdy and hostile home stadiums. But technology increasingly makes the home viewing experience more comfortable. Expect the League to incorporate betting deals and promos into the live game-day experience for fans willing to pay for tickets.

Betting Partnerships Growing Amongst Professional Leagues

The NFL’s partnership with three sportsbooks is the first – but certainly not the last – gambling deal for the League. The NHL already reached an agreement for PointsBet to be its official sports betting partner.

On the heels of Arizona’s new sports betting regime, both the PGA and NBA are involved in deals to build retail sportsbooks at their venues. The TPC Scottsdale course, home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open already known for its party atmosphere, will feature a live DraftKings book. Across town, the NBA’s Suns announced their own intention to host a retail FanDuel sportsbook location. Tim Donaghy could not be reached for his reaction.

Arizona’s new law specifically targets professional sports venues when locating retail wagering shops. The Diamondbacks are yet to reveal their plans. Major League Baseball has a much longer – and seedier – history with gambling. It will be fascinating to watch how much MLB capitalizes on the growing betting partnership trend.

Brad Vanderhide

Brad Vanderhide is an avid blackjack player and sports bettor whose only rule is to never wager on or against his beloved Cleveland Browns. With a background in politics, law, and government compliance, his writing provides a high-level overview of the changing online gambling landscape. As a native Ohioan, Brad cannot wait for his state to get out of its own way and open up legalized sport betting and online casino gaming.

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