Learning that the NFL (National Football League) accepts sponsorship from casinos may shock some long-time fans of the organization. This is especially true considering the NFL actively tried blocking sports betting in court battles as far back as 2012.
There is no doubt the reasons were noble—it didn’t want gambling to compromise the integrity of the sport. However, with the landmark changes in the law in 2018, sports betting is now allowed to be legalized per state, and the floodgates officially opened.
Since then, the NFL has done a complete turnaround and has accepted sponsorships from multiple casinos. Whether this is because the offers have been too good to refuse or it honestly has changed its stance is irrelevant. The fact is that the NHL is now getting an incredible sum of money from partnerships with several massive casino brands.
The first sponsorship deal signed by the NFL was between it and the legendary Caesars Entertainment group. The agreement was signed in 2019 but didn’t cover sports betting or fantasy gaming. Instead, it was solely between the sporting behemoth and the Caesars casino division.
Reported to be worth around $30 million annually over a three-year period, the deal brought a large sum into the NFL and a ton of advertising for the casino giant. And considering the agreement gave the casino rights to advertise the NFL to its more than 55 million loyalty members, this says a lot.
The deals with Caesars didn’t stop there, however. A few years later, in 2021, the organization again signed another agreement with the entertainment group that included sports betting affiliation.
This deal, reported to be worth almost $1 billion, included two other large casino groups. And while it didn’t work to stop other sportsbooks from allowing bets on NFL games, it gave Caesars rights to use the NFL logo, data, and other marketing materials.
DraftKings is one of the largest sportsbooks in the US and has an active user base of almost 1.6 million players. It allows players to indulge in fantasy sports by picking their own teams and placing bets on upcoming events, like NFL games.
Like Caesars, DraftKings was one of the three leading casinos and sportsbooks that secured a deal with the NFL at the start of 2021. The agreement, allowing them to operate physical and online sportsbooks that use the official NFL media content, cost the operator millions.
However, it was money well spent, as it has given the sportsbook prime advertising space and allowed it to be recognized as an official partner of the sporting body.
The third and final sportsbook that comprised the staggering $1 billion deal was FanDuel. Like DraftKings, the brand is famous for its fantasy sports program and extensive sportsbook.
Like the others, the deal with the National Football League saw FanDuel become an (ASO) Approved Sportsbook Operator of the NFL. Using this status, the group can market all upcoming games to its over 12 million customers nationwide.
Because it also has a presence across 50 states in the US, it is a no-brainer as to why this casino was chosen as a partner.
After the initial deal of three sponsors in April 2021, the NFL decided to bring on more partners by August of the same year, this time signing deals with four other casinos and sportsbooks. The first of these was FOX Bet.
Affiliated directly with the massive entertainment group FOX, FOX Bet has a broad reach and extensive resources. Aside from just marketing, the group even has access to its own advertising spaces on FOX Sports.
Unlike the deal with the first group of sponsors, there is no published record of the deal’s worth. However, estimates are that the NFL garnered around $1.8 billion in total from the seven casinos, which means that the contract with FOX Bet was worth approximately $200 million (or one-fourth of $800 million).
The second name in the massive additional sponsorship is synonymous with gambling. BetMGM, part of the gigantic MGM Resorts International group, is a sportsbook in partnership with Entain Plc.
With the experience of MGM, which runs multiple massive casinos and an online casino known for regularly gifting players with a bonus on slots that you can try for free, the operator is the perfect match for players wanting to place wagers on NFL games.
Third in the deal is PointsBet. This sportsbook, founded initially in Australia before moving to the US, is one of the fastest-growing gambling entities in the country. It is also famous for the way it operates.
Unlike other casinos and sportsbooks that outsource many core functions to third-party developers and system managers, PointsBet develops and manages all the end-to-end systems it uses and has even created new ones specifically for its operations.
The last casino to sign with the NFL and receive the prestigious title of being an ASO of the brand is WynnBET. As the bookmaker division of the large Wynn Resorts casino group, it brings a wealth of expertise to betting and is ideally suited to be a partner of the sport.
Aside from prime advertising during NFL games, WynnBET features official branding on all bets placed via their popular betting app. While there are no publicly disclosed figures for how many players use the app, it is plentiful based on the popularity of the brand and the ease of betting.
The NFL may be scoring big regarding the influx of cash brought on by signing sponsorship agreements with these massive casinos. However, there is no denying that casinos are benefiting as well.
From using the official NFL branding and information database, which can help offer better bet lines and bolder predictions, they also get access to prime advertising space—something nobody else is eligible for.
More than this, however, the partnership of one of the most significant sporting bodies with some of the biggest gambling names makes the betting experience even better for the people that matter most—the players.