The National Football League began to look into the legalization of sports betting in the United States and Canada several years ago. The league reached out to the gaming industry and governing bodies to learn about the pitfalls of legalized sports gambling and to gain clarity on what it would take to implement such an initiative.
The NFL has built partnerships with sportsbook operators, sports broadcasters, and sports media companies. This strategy has enabled the league to incorporate gambling content into its broadcasts, including video licensing and free play games. Moreover, the league has developed an official sportsbook product. It features over 25 in-race bet types, allowing fans in regulated states to enjoy a live, immersive betting experience.
The NFL’s shift towards betting is part of a wider trend. Cord-cutting, an industry disruptor, is forcing sports broadcasters to find new business models. In the past, networks were wary of alienating casual fans, but they are now experimenting with alternative broadcasts. One example is Fox’s official sportsbook, Fox Bet.
The NFL has made a series of first-of-their-kind partnerships to bring official betting to the NFL and its fans. The league has spoken to gaming operators, sports broadcasters, and governing bodies to determine what would be required for a sports gambling bill to be passed. This legislation would have to include substantive licensing requirements, protect consumers, and create a clear market.
As of mid-2017, the NFL expects to generate about $270 million in revenue through this program. During the 2017 season, the NFL tested video licensing overseas, and this year, it has launched an official sportsbook product for the NASCAR racing series. The company has also forged international sponsorships. In the United Kingdom, Australia, and Latin America, the league has struck deals with sportsbook providers.