Is the National Football League (NFL) Embracing Sports Betting?

Is the National Football League (NFL) Embracing Sports Betting?

With the beginning of the NFL season just weeks away, the league has been making some business moves lately in preparation for opening day. While some of their actions might seem a little confusing, everything they are doing is in attempt to embrace sustainable sports betting.

Recently, the NFL has made an announcement indicating the league’s prohibitions in regards to sports betting for employees. Sports betting in any capacity, be it directly or indirectly, is explicitly forbidden. Not only are NFL employees (players) included in this ban, but so too are owners, contractors, and any vendors connected with the league. Despite being prohibitive in nature, this is actually a good sign for legal sports betting.

The NFL has communicated that they believe is their duty to defend the NFL from any threats stemming from legal or illegal sports betting. This shows that the ban is actually a move of good-faith to show dedication to following the law. Even though sports betting is happening illegally in almost every state in the country, adherence to legal sports betting laws is crucial to help support its growth and longevity.

Good move by the league here, but that isn’t all they’ve done lately. A few days ago, they also lengthened their partnership with Sportsradar, their sole provider for statistics relating to Next Gen tracking data and play-by-play. The two have been working together since 2015 and now they’ll be connected for another few years. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering that Sportsradar has similar arrangements with the NBA and MLB, both of whom have also been very welcoming towards legal sports betting.

With the new extension in place, Sportsradar can now also use live feeds of both audio and video to specific sportsbooks out of the country. This is significant because the use of live streaming on mobile betting applications is rising in popularity. Now that Sportsradar has access to this data, live streaming with up-to-date betting odds is a likely possibility.

If we look back to earlier in the year, the NFL tabbed Caesars Entertainment as their initial casino partner. This was a surprise in comparison to the NBA and MLB who ended up partnering with MGM Resorts. In addition, the NFL’s deal with Caesars does not allow for any data use (only sponsorships) unlike the other two sports.

While the exact details of the deal are not yet known, there are a few reference points we can look at. The NFL’s partnership with Caesars earlier in the year is worth more than $30 million/year. When the NBA signed their massive deal with Sportsradar back in 2016, the monetary figure totalled $250 million. A deal in the upwards of $300 million is definitely plausible.

With all of the advancements the NFL has made towards legal sports betting this year, they’re certainly more prepared than ever for the upcoming season. Opening day is September 5th and they’re in a great position for the 10 states now accepting legal sports wagers.

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