The NFL has long opposed sports betting due to concerns about point shaving, match-fixing, and other unethical practices associated with gambling.
But with the legalization of sports wagering in many states, they now see a new opportunity to generate revenue through revenue generation.
According to the American Gaming Association, Americans bet on professional sports games for a total of $52.7 billion in 2021 – an increase of 61% from their previous year’s figure. This includes bets placed on traditional sporting events such as the Super Bowl.
America’s passion for sports has never been greater, so it is no surprise that the sports betting industry is on the rise. Now, sports wagering is legal in 30 states and Washington D.C., with more to follow soon enough.
While the NFL has resisted sports betting, it is a win-win situation for both parties. The league gains more fans which boost its revenue; at the same time, gambling companies gain access to a larger audience and additional revenues through advertising and sponsorships.
Major gambling operators have even inked deals with individual NFL franchises like the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos to include sports betting as part of their sponsorship packages. This was an unimaginable step just a few years ago, but it illustrates how the NFL has started to embrace sports betting as an avenue to monetize its brand.
Sports betting has seen an unprecedented growth rate in recent years, with several states, such as Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi, poised to become market leaders. These states are largely responsible for the explosive expansion of sports betting across America.
Why the NFL Supports Sports Betting Now
The NFL’s support of sports betting was spurred on by PASPA’s recent defeat and expansion into legal gambling across America, according to Joe McIntyre – CEO of sports betting firm SportsBetting.com – who saw an opportunity for increased profits.
McIntyre noted that PASPA had also helped destigmatize sports betting. Before PASPA, people thought of sports betting as something done in secretive backrooms with cigar-smoking bookies and gamblers.
With the repeal of PASPA and the expansion of legal wagering, more people have begun to appreciate the value of placing bets on their favorite team. This has resulted in an influx of betting dollars for sportsbook operators who have been able to capitalize by investing millions into marketing and advertising efforts.
According to a survey conducted by Morning Consult, the number of Americans placing bets on their favorite sports team has surged more than 80% since January due to legal betting expansion and major sportsbooks’ focus on digital marketing.
As the league has expanded its sportsbook partnerships, it has become easier for fans to bet on their favorite teams and make free NFL picks against the spread – whether in person at an NFL stadium or online at a licensed online sportsbook.
This has created an entirely new world of sports betting which only looks set to grow in popularity over time.
Featured Image: Seeking Alpha