NFL Changes Its NJ Sports Betting Stance, And 888 Holdings Is Listening

Could we be on the verge of seeing sportsbook sponsorships at MetLife Stadium?

Well, don’t get excited yet. However, the NFL is loosening its stance when it comes to legal sports betting.

There is a real possibility that fans could see betting lounges at New York Jets or Giants games next season.

Just don’t expect to see any wagering windows. Those remain a major no-no.

Sponsorship deals with sportsbook operators, which were previously prohibited, could be coming, too.

It wasn’t all that long ago when the NFL considered any mention of sports betting to be forbidden.

Now, the words are mentioned multiple times in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement that the NFL Players Association approved over the weekend.

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888 Holdings + New York Jets

The policy change provides some flexibility for a company like 888 Holdings.

Last season, the online casino, poker and sportsbook operator expanded its partnership with the Jets. But that deal was tied into the 888 Casino product.

Nj Gambling Sites caught up with Yaniv Sherman, head of group commercial development, to discuss the NFL policy change.

“I think that’s their next logical step, the NFL allowing sportsbooks or the association of sports betting with the franchises. So it has definitely created more interest and more potential affiliation between a company like ourselves and NFL franchises.”

The two sides have the offseason to discuss how to move forward. Sherman said the Jets had been a great partner so far, and the deal has bolstered the 888 brand presence.

Now that other states are following in New Jersey’s footsteps, the Jets deal could be setting the foundation.

“There are other opportunities out there now that we are looking at additional states,” Sherman said.

“There is an NFL franchise in almost every relevant market that we are looking into, so it creates also a (number) of possibilities for other states.”

Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee are among those where sports betting has launched or is on the verge of launching. 

What about an 888 sports betting lounge?

Back in the Garden State, 888 does not need to worry about starting from scratch. Adding an 888 Sportsbook lounge to MetLife Stadium is being considered behind the scenes.

Last season, the company held activation events outside of the venue. And with the bulk of NJ sports betting revenue and handle coming via mobile apps, the lack of betting windows will not be a deal-breaker.

In January alone, NJ customers wagered $540.1 million, of which $471.1 million was attributed to online. It was such a good month that New Jersey topped Nevada.

The wagering was likely going on while the Jets were playing the New England Patriots at home.

“The distinction between a sports bar and a betting lounge is, at the end of the day, people in New Jersey all bet on their mobile devices. So, if you create a mobile sports betting lounge, by construction, there will be betting activity there,” said Sherman.

“It creates a very good opportunity for consistency.

“You don’t need to create a retail destination at least in New Jersey to offer sports betting. That is one of the main reasons why New Jersey is so successful as a betting market.”

About the Author

Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.