As states legalize sports gambling, the NFL hedges it bets
Sports betting is now legal in 13 states, and the NFL finally seems to be ready for the snap.
According to the American Gaming Association, 38m Americans — 15% of the adult population — will bet on NFL games this season. There’s money to be made … and not just for bettors.
The NFL is finally hopping off the bench
Until now, the NFL has been slow to embrace betting, but this season the league partnered with casino giant Caesars and data distributor Sportsradar.
And with broadcast rights deals with CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN all set to expire in 2022, expect sports betting to play a role in negotiations.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has speculated the value of TV broadcasts will spike 50% because people are more likely to tune in if there’s money on the line.
And The Action Network’s Darren Rovell suggested future rights fees could get a boost as next-gen broadcasters — that’s rookies like Amazon and Apple — bring built-in payment systems that could be used to further facilitate betting.
Armchair QBs won’t notice much change
NBC telecasts might mention sports betting references, and Fox has vowed to mention betting on-air only if the announcers can work it in “organically.” ESPN and CBS are staying out of the fray.
Meanwhile, the NFL has said it would cap the number of gambling ads that run during broadcasts — which is good, because it leaves room for those Cialis spots that everyone really wants.