NFL to Partner with Caesars Entertainment for Casino Gaming Only
On Thursday morning, the National Football League (NFL) surprisingly announced a new partnership that will make Caesars Entertainment the “Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL.” This multiyear deal is set to kick off during the 2019 NFL playoffs and focus on giving NFL fans “unique experiences” through Caesars wide range of entertainment products, performers and services.
Furthermore, the NFL has made it clear that this partnership is only for casino gaming and does not include “sports betting, daily fantasy or hotel/resorts.” However, Caesars Entertainment will have exclusive rights to the NFL trademarks both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
Caesars Entertainment CEO Mark Frissora made the following comments via press release:
“All of us at Caesars Entertainment are thrilled to be the first-ever casino partner of the NFL, the most prominent sports league in North America. Combining the league’s 180 million fans with our 55 million Total Rewards loyalty program members will expose millions of people to the exclusive and exciting year-round opportunities at our properties.”
The timing of this deal appears to be forward thinking by the league in regards to major events happening next year. In 2020, the NFL will hold the NFL Draft in Las Vegas and the Oakland Raiders will be official residents of the city.
The NFL was the last major professional sports league to make an official deal with any kind of casino entity as the NBA, NHL, and MLB have already inked deals with MGM Resorts. However, unlike the other leagues, the NFL continues to oppose and keep their distance from sports betting.
The NFL is basically dipping their toes in the waters of the gambling industry by allowing Caesars to promote and advertise about the league, but nothing to do with actual betting on games.
Caesars currently operates legal sportsbooks in Nevada, New Jersey, and Mississippi. They also have a sports betting app in New Jersey and properties in 10 others states that they hope will eventually include legalized sports betting.
One of those properties is Harrah’s Philadelphia, which is set to have sportsbooks since the state of Pennsylvania allows for legal sports betting.
Despite the limitations of this deal being nothing more than a marketing partnership, it is a step in the right direction for the NFL to finally get on board with legal sports betting. Its counterparts, NBA and NHL, are already jumping into the deep end of sports betting due to their partnerships with MGM.
Currently, seven NFL teams have partnerships with Caesars Entertainment:
- Atlanta Falcons
- Baltimore Ravens
- Chicago Bears
- Indianapolis Colts
- New Orleans Saints
- Oakland Raiders
- Philadelphia Eagles
It should be noted that the Dallas Cowboys forged their own path by partnering with a well-known regional tribal casino on the border of Oklahoma and Texas.
I would imagine as more states legalize sports betting in 2019, the NFL will soften their stance and additional teams will create new partnerships with “local casinos.”
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