One has to wonder if the internal NFL memo announcing the league’s official sports betting partners had the header, “We can’t beat ’em, might as well join ’em.”

Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel are now official league sports betting partners, according to Thursday news releases from the sportsbook operators. The agreements give the sportsbooks the rights to exclusive data for NFL betting and permit the integration of sports gambling content on league platforms, such as NFL.com and the NFL app.

NFL sees the light on legal sports betting

The NFL was, at one time, a staunch opponent of sports gambling.
Along with the NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB, the NFL joined in a failed legal attempt to block sports betting in New Jersey. The case went all the way to the US. Supreme Court.

In 2018, SCOTUS ruled the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional, paving the way for individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting.

“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the United States, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals,” said Renie Anderson, chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL partnerships.

Sports betting in the US

Currently, 21 states have live sports betting. Six others have legalized but have yet to launch, and 13 more have active or pending legislation.

Since 2018, more than $48.6 billion has been legally wagered on sports in the US. Legal sports gambling has generated nearly $3.5 billion in revenue and almost $486 million in taxes.

New Jersey is the national sports betting leader. Garden State sports gamblers have placed more than $13.5 billion in legal bets. NJ sportsbooks have reported almost $921 million in revenue over the last three years.

Sportsbooks spike the football with official league deals

Matt King, CEO of FanDuel, said the partnership with the NFL will wind up “ultimately enhancing every gameday.”

“On Super Bowl Sunday we got a glimpse at how powerful the combination of the NFL’s excitement and our platform can be in delivering an enhanced fan experience, King said. “We are delighted to make that combination official by pairing America’s #1 sportsbook with America’s #1 sports league.”

Caesars Entertainment is the largest gaming operator in the U.S. and the current official casino sponsor of the NFL.

“Sports betting and online gaming are the next frontiers for our industry, and we are committed to being where the players are,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment.

DraftKings also renewed its existing partnership with the NFL as the league’s official daily fantasy sports partner.

Jason Robins, CEO, chairman and co-founder of DraftKings, said the way fans consume sports in the future will look “drastically different, and it will be due in part to forward-thinking collaborations,” such as the NFL deals.

About

David Danzis is an award-winning journalist who has covered business, politics, government, education, and sports in New Jersey. Most recently, he wrote about Atlantic City casinos, online gaming, and sports betting for The Press of Atlantic City. David is a graduate of Rutgers University.