The NFL has announced the approval of four sportsbook operators for the 2021 season. While the NFL is notorious for being greedy and monumentally hypocritical, the league has been proactive in forging partnerships with sports betting operators. Earlier this year, Caesars Entertainment and Fan Duel both announced deals to offer sports betting in the stadiums. Whether these agreements are good for fans or not will likely depend on how the league handles their new partnerships with the betting companies.
In 2018, the NFL found that the ideal sports gambling legislation would require regulated operators to use official data sources. These laws would ensure transparency in markets and protect consumers. The NFL would also prohibit betting by insiders and place onus on operators to protect consumers. Despite the NFL’s desire for a regulatory framework that protects consumers, they were unable to garner the necessary backing from the owners of the 32 NFL teams. There are four main groups of NFL team owners:
Fox, ESPN, and other media companies are all advancing their efforts to provide fans with gambling content. While a few years ago, ESPN would not use the names of NFL teams in their content, they are now taking the plunge and building a Las Vegas set to produce sports gambling content. In addition, the NFL has made extensive efforts to study fan preferences regarding gambling and has avoided in-stadium betting kiosks. By partnering with these companies, the NFL can make more informed decisions about the content of its games.