While the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens drew attention when they announced sponsorship deals with casinos, the New York Jets flew under the radar.

That is until some blowback brought the NFL team’s sponsorship to light.

The New York Post reported late Monday that the Jets inked an agreement with Israel-based gambling company 888 Holdings, which operates several NJ online gambling platforms, including 888 Sport.

The problem, however, is that critics claim the Jets are already improperly promoting 888’s NJ sports betting product.

Here an 888, there an 888

Per the New York Post, the Jets signed a sponsorship contract with 888 “in recent weeks.” On Sunday, though the team was in Chicago for a Week 8 game, several large banners boasted the 888.com logo around the MetLife Stadium property.

Such sponsorships became available to NFL teams after team owners in August chose to allow franchises to partner with casinos. A stipulation, however, specifically prohibits teams from advertising sportsbooks.

Exceptions include daily fantasy sites. The Jets give proper due to FanDuel, which, as it happens, operates FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack, which neighbors the stadium.

An announcement of the sponsorship deal should come later this week. Yet the Jets were already promoting 888 for the team’s Oct. 21 home game.

888 Gaming: Meet brand ambassadors and download the 888 Gaming app to be entered to win autographed Jets merchandise and other great prizes.

Critics attack Jets’ approach to sponsor

While sources told the New York Post that the Jets do not believe the team’s ads violate league policy, outsiders are lambasting the team.

Those sources told the Post that 888 Holdings’ sports betting site is not specifically named on any of the ads. Rather, 888.com features poker and casino portals. That said, as the Post put it:

“Some insiders said that the ‘888.com’ ads looked dangerously close to flouting the rules.”

At the time of the initial reporting, the splash page of 888.com included an image of a football player with a link to bet on games. At this writing, the splash page featured promotions for online poker and the NJ online casino.

The Post reported that both the Jets and 888 declined to comment.

Casino sponsorships abound

The Jets joined a rapidly growing list of teams and leagues that are teaming up with casinos.

MGM Resorts International finalized a deal with the NHL to become its official sports betting partner. It is a partnership similar to what MGM secured with the NBA in July.

Earlier this month, the Ravens announced a partnership with Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which came on the heels of the Cowboys locking down WinStar World Casino.

In New Jersey, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils made a couple of deals. First came the sponsor of bookmaker William Hill US, which also partnered with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Shortly after, Caesars Entertainment joined the Devils’ corner while also teaming up with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. Interestingly, in states where sports betting is legal, the NBA will allow teams to post sports betting ads. That includes the 76ers.

Photo by Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Grant Lucas

About

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.