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NFL Announces Only Official Sports Betting Partnerships

NFL Announces Only Official Sports Betting Partnerships article feature image

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Roger Goodell

The last American sports league, and ironically the most significant, to sign official betting deals has come around.

The NFL announced that three sportsbooks — Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel — will have the right to call themselves official betting partners of the league. With it, they get official league data and can promote their relationship with the league through the use of trademarks in their marketing and on their platforms. Marketing will also be seen in the form of tying their brands to on air and online statistics.

Terms were not disclosed, but sources said if the three deals go their maximum of five years, the three partners will have paid nearly $1 billion to the league. The NFL can opt out after years three and four.

“There’s nothing magical to the timing here,” Renie Anderson, the NFL’s chief revenue officer told The Action Network. “We’ve obviously paid attention to the acceptance of sports betting in the U.S. and feel like it contributes to fan engagement.”

The NFL unsuccessfully fought to keep sports betting from being legalized and when it was, asked for Congress to step in to enact more consistent guidelines that the states couldn’t. That never happened.

One of the reasons NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he so opposed sports gambling was its impact on the integrity of the game. The league noted in Thursday’s announcement that all three partners will collaborate in data intelligence sharing to help an irregular patterns be discovered.

Caesars will market it’s NFL relationship in its casinos, DraftKings intends to exploit its exclusive fantasy deal with the league and its betting deal on RedZone and FanDuel integration will be noticed on the NFL Network game pregames.

Other sportsbooks will be able to sign official betting data deals with the NFL, a program monitored by Genius Sports. Those sportsbooks just won’t be allowed to market their relationship. Sportsbooks with local team deals can maintain those deals as long as they don’t market their NFL relationship beyond the local radius.

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