NFL Owners Vote in Favor of In-Stadium Sports Betting

The league had previously distanced itself from both online betting sites and fantasy football.

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2023 12:38 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
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Legal sports betting is reportedly now a part of the NFL game day experience.

NFL owners have voted to allow brick-and-mortar sportsbooks to operate on game days starting this upcoming 2023 season, according to The Athletic.

America’s most popular professional sports league has allowed sportsbooks to operate inside and near NFL stadiums but has prevented fans from placing wagers on actual game days.

The decision marks a major shift for the NFL, which had previously distanced itself from online betting sites and fantasy football. The league banned a group of active players in 2015 from attending a fantasy football event in Las Vegas. The group included Tony Romo and Rob Gronkowski.

Since then, the NFL has since partnered with sports betting operators including DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, FOX Bet, PointsBet, Caesars, and WynnBet after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states outside of Nevada to offer sanctioned wagering in 2018.

NFL embracing emerging betting market

In 2022, the Arizona Cardinals opened BetMGM Sportsbook at State Farm Stadium — the first sportsbook at an NFL stadium. The 17,000-square-foot facility features 38 televisions, a video wall, betting kiosks, indoor-and-outdoor dining options, and an amphitheater.

In January, the Washington Commanders opened the Fanatics Sportsbook at FedEx Field — the operator’s first retail sportsbook in the U.S. The 5,000-square-foot facility features eight betting windows, 21 kiosks, and 38 televisions. It was the 10th retail sportsbook to open in Maryland.

NFL has reigned supreme in America as the top pro sports league and the fandom has correlated to strong returns for sportsbooks. Super Bowl weekend in February saw roughly 100 million sports betting transactions — a 25% increase year-over-year, according to GeoComply.

“This was BetMGM’s most successful Super Bowl and most-bet-on single game sporting event ever,” a company spokesperson told CNBC.

With betting now allowed in NFL stadiums, sportsbooks and teams will continue to drive profits. Revenue from in-stadium sportsbooks will not be shared with other franchises until a threshold of around $20 million. After that threshold, revenue will be pooled with all other NFL teams.

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