In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled the federal ban against sports betting was unconstitutional. Under the “States Rights” clause, the federal government is required to restrict setting policy that’s better handled at the state level. The basis for overturning the ban was the belief states should have the right to decide whether or not its residents should be allowed to bet on sports.
Ever since the announce, there’s been a frenzy of legislative activity in as many as 25 states. Currently, there are at least 11 states that have already passed the required legislation to allow legalized sports betting within the state’s respective boundaries. Three states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware) were the first to join Nevada as the only states where sports betting was legal.
As the number of states permitting sports gambling continues to grow, the next logical step is to legislate for online casino and sports gambling. New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware already have said legislation in place.
Putting regulatory and funding issues aside, the online gambling industry is exploding. With the competition heating up to secure as many loyal online gamblers as possible, many of the world’s top online gambling providers are seizing on the opportunity to align itself with professional sports.
For more than a decade, a number of top online casinos and bookmakers have successfully developed partnerships with the UK’s Premier League football (soccer) clubs. Once the US gave way and created a path for US gamblers to start gambling on sports through US licensed bookmakers, the gloves came off, and top online gambling providers began pursuing deals with the US’ top professional leagues (NBA, MLB, NBA and NHL).
It’s noteworthy that only the NBA ever indicated any level of support for sports betting legislation. The primary issue that kept respective league owners on the sidelines was concerns related to the integrity of each sport. The last thing any of these leagues want to have to deal with is issues related to game-fixing.
For the leagues, the infusion of cash into the league coffers will give the leagues and team owners an opportunity to find new avenues of promotion. It will also give team owners the resources needed to offset the rising costs related to player contracts. For the online gambling providers, they get a fantastic opportunity to reach millions of US sports fans who have been waiting for decades for the chance to legally bet on sports.
Once the sports betting ship sailed, the leagues began taking a more practical approach to partnering up with gambling conglomerates. The first league to fall was the NBA, followed by MLB and the NHL. The National Football League (NFL) took its time before jumping into the deep end of the pool. As information became available regarding the lucrative deals being signed by the other leagues, it was only a matter of time before the NFL would finally secure its own deal.
That time has come. Around the beginning of the year, the NFL announced they had come to terms with Caesars Entertainment for a long-term sponsorship deal. Under the terms of the deal, Caesars will get exclusive rights to use NFL trademarks in the United States and the United Kingdom to promote Caesars casino properties. Additionally, Caesars will get the option to host major NFL events related to the Super Bowl and NFL draft.
With the new deal in place, teams are moving forward to secure sponsorship deals at the team level. By the end of 2019, there’s a good chance the marriage between the NFL and the online gambling industry will be complete.