The NFL is the latest major American sports league to sign official betting deals. The league announced three new sportsbooks as official partners, giving them access to official league data, and a way to promote the league and tie their brands to statistics. If the five-year deal continues, the NFL stands to make nearly $1 billion, but the NFL can opt out after three years. It is unclear whether the NFL will stick to the deal or look for alternatives. The NFL is open to extending the official betting deal beyond football to other sports leagues, but these relationships often fail, especially in the NFL.
The NFL concluded that its ideal sports gambling legislation would include substantive licensing requirements, create clear markets, and protect consumers. In addition, it would prohibit the betting of insiders and place onus on operators to prevent insider betting. To make the bill a reality, the NFL needed the support of the 32 owners of the NFL’s 32 teams. The owners of those franchises fell into four groups. This article explores these four groups and what it means to sportsbooks in the U.S.
The NFL saw the decision coming in mid-2017 and immediately began researching the legalized sports betting market. They spoke with gaming operators, governing bodies, and sports entities to see what was needed to make it work for its fans. Some experts estimate that as much as $75 billion to $125 billion was being illegally wagered on sports in the United States. By mid-2017, the NFL had found that consumers were betting primarily online on sports via their mobile phones.