The NFL Dives Into The Sports Gambling Business

A 180 degree turnaround.

The National Football League’s popularity was partially built on the point spread which allowed fans to place friendly bets with the local bookie. The NFL until 2018 frowned upon the betting, at least in terms of imagery, but betting was a basis of the league’s popularity. The league fought New Jersey’s attempt to legalize a sportsbook in that state. But that was a long time ago, actually it was 35 months ago. The NFL is now in the sports gambling business as it has three sports betting partners, Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel. The partnerships will bring in an awful lot of money to the 31 owners and the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors. The NFL has come a long way in three years.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that limited betting on professional and college sports to just four states. Nevada had sportsbooks. Delaware had very limited betting on the NFL. Montana and Oregon had limited sports betting. New Jersey led by former Governor Chris Christie pushed to change the 1992 law. New Jersey passed legislation in 2011 that legalized sports gambling in the state. The National Football League immediately sued and a judge found that the New Jersey proposal ran afoul of the 1992 ban. Delaware opened casinos and by 2009 decided to open sports betting parlors in the state’s casinos. The NFL sued to stop it and won. Delaware now has operating sportsbooks. In 2003, the NFL turned down Disney/ABC’s request to include a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority commercial during the Super Bowl because of gambling concerns. The National Football League now has a franchise in Las Vegas. For the NFL, gambling is just another revenue stream.

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