US sports and sports betting
For many years, the NFL supported the federal ban on sports betting. Along with the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA, the league fought to keep courts from ending the ban. They did not want the integrity of their sports to be compromised by legal sports betting.
However, the ban was finally struck down by the US Supreme Court in May of 2018. Most of those leagues then began to embrace sports betting, looking to get in on the action for themselves. In the beginning, they pushed for integrity fees, which would be a slice of every sports bet that would go to the league in charge of the event.
The idea was that these funds would help the leagues implement integrity systems to ensure that no suspicious betting activity took place.
However, no state has yet included in integrity fee when legalizing sports betting because the margins for sportsbooks are already very tight.
This led to many of the leagues moving on toward the distribution of their exclusive content to sportsbooks. Live betting is very important in sports betting and sportsbooks want the most accurate and up-to-date information as possible. Therefore, they are willing to purchase access to this live data off the respective leagues.
NFL and sports betting
The NBA and NHL are the sports leagues leading the charge in the sports betting space. The NFL has been taking a slower and more considered approach to it.
In August 2018, the NFL allowed teams to accept casino sponsors. The Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens were the first to do so. In September, the league gave the green light for gambling advertising to be shown during the season.
The NFL announced a deal in January making Caesars Entertainment the official casino sponsor for the league. The deal will last for three years and is worth about $30m (£23m) a year.
According to the American Gaming Association, the NFL may earn as much as $2.3bn (£1.8bn) annually in additional revenue as a result of legal sports betting.
The NFL does want to stop certain types of prop bets. These bets are more likely to lead to match-fixing. The league wants to have the ability to prevent or limit any markets that are not related to the final score of the game.
NFL teams in New York speak out
Three NFL teams spoke out during a recent hearing about sports betting in New York. Sports betting in the state is on its way and sports leagues want a proper regulatory framework to be in place.
The New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills, and the New York Giants were co-signers of a letter urging the New York State Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee to remember the integrity of the sports leagues when drawing up the framework for sports betting.
The letter says: “While we respect the Court’s ruling, the absence of clear and enforceable legal standards for sports betting threatens the integrity of our nation’s professional and amateur sporting contests. There is no greater priority for the NFL than protecting the integrity of our sport and the welfare of our players.”
The league wants four key standards to be considered. These are: a regulated and legal environment for sports betting with proper consumer protections; intellectual property and content protection; fans’ access to official data; and enough resources to monitor and enforce all issues relating to illegal sports betting.
The NBA and MLB also made similar arguments in the state. These leagues were also calling for the restriction of certain types of prop bets. Both the New York Jets and the New York Giants play their home games in New Jersey. The league has no power in this state when it comes to deciding what types of betting markets are allowable.