The National league fought against gambling for years, citing concerns about the integrity of the sport. In 2015, it pack up a fantasy football convention in Las Vegas headlined by quarterback Tony Romo for its mere whiff of gambling; in 2016, since the other major leagues inked official partnerships with daily fantasy sports sites such as FanDuel or DraftKings, the NFL allowed its teams to form team-level deals but didn’t enter any league-wide deal until 2019.
For its 2020 season, the NFL will allow teams to sign with sportsbook and casino sponsors and build betting lounges inside their stadiums, the league told teams last week.
Only teams with legal sports betting in their state are going to be ready to sign such sponsorships, and only with sportsbooks or casinos that are licensed within the state.
Casino sponsors of teams are going to be allowed to use the official team logos in their advertising and marketing. In other words, you’ll soon hear a casino in Pennsylvania advertising itself as “the official sportsbook sponsor of the Philadelphia Eagles.”
As for the physical lounges, they’re going to not have betting windows or physical bet-taking of any kind – the league remains prohibiting that – but can have signage of the sponsor and monitors showing odds and bets. The sponsors also can use such lounges to check in customers. The lounges are going to be confined to the world of stadiums referred to as the upper bowl.
These will basically be designated physical spaces for mobile depending on smartphones.
The NFL’s official casino partner is Caesars, and its official daily fantasy sports partner is DraftKings, but teams are still liberal to make their own team-specific local casino deals, and lots of have.
Gillette Stadium (home to the New England Patriots), AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys), and Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs) all have designated DraftKings fantasy sports lounges already, and therefore the new betting lounges would look basically the same; what’s new is that the ability for teams to possess official sportsbook sponsors.