Casino Watch Focus has reported on the National Football League’s dealings with gambling over the years. They have long held the policy to fight against additional legalization of sports betting and they vigilantly fought each of New Jersey’s attempts over the years to expand sport betting. Even after the recent landmark decision by the Supreme Court to legalize sports betting to all venues that chose to regulate it, the NFL pushed for federal oversight to an issue that is currently at the discretion of each individual state. They have had some criticism directed their way for their willingness to engage in advertising with casinos and other gambling establishments, but they did heavily regulate the process. So given the shifting political and legal landscapes, and their willingness to engage in some form of advertising with the gambling industry, its unclear how their newest position should be viewed – selling out and being guilty of hypocrisy as they say one thing to the legislators, yet hold out their hands to garner revenue from the gambling providers, or a sports league that is simply changing with the times and embracing the inevitable. Sports Pro Online explains this new policy shift:
The National Football League (NFL) team owners have agreed to permit franchises to sell sponsorship deals to casinos that work alongside bookmakers and betting companies.
While any casino involved in such an arrangement will still be prohibited from directly advertising its associated sportsbook in its partnership with an NFL team, the league’s business ventures committee has relaxed the main rule that had previously banned any bookmaker-related sponsorship.
The rule change will allow teams to receive advertising from any casinos and fantasy sites, giving them permission to broadcast the adverts during preview and post-match programmes, as well as during preseason games.
As part of the two-way agreement, both teams and casinos will have the opportunity to use each other’s brand logos in any advertising. However, NFL franchises will not be permitted to take revenue shares for any business driven to casinos and gambling or betting sites. Under the terms of the new rules, stadia are now also able to accept casinos as naming rights partners.
After the announced change by the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys because the first team to form an official partnership. Its very clear the NFL sees the potential billion dollar windfall from gambling advertising as an opportunity it wasn’t willing to pass up. An online source explains:
The deal between WinStar and the Cowboys marks the first time in NFL history that a casino has been granted official designation as a team’s exclusive partner, granting exclusive use of a team’s logos and trademarks. An amendment passed by NFL owners created the opportunity for casinos to obtain official partnerships with NFL teams.
The announcement was made less than 24 hours after the American Gaming Association released a Nielson Sports study that showed legalized sports betting would increase league revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars per year, with most of that money coming from higher viewership and advertising sales.
The Nielsen Sports study determined the NFL could increase its annual revenue by as much as $2.3 billion.
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