NFL in Historic Casino Advertising Move

Publish: 04.09.2018
In a historic decision, the NFL will now allow casinos to advertise during matches during the 2018/19 season. The decision breaks a long-standing ban on casino advertising in the tournament. The update was announced by the NFL Chief Media Officer Brian Rolapp who said that that the move is triggered by the NFL Business Ventures Committee ahead of the season’s beginning on September 7.

The rules have been relaxed only for land-based casinos. These entities will now be able to sponsor team franchises. The change in regulations comes after a majority of franchise owners lobbied for rule relaxation owing to better sponsorship opportunities from casinos post-PASPA reveal.

The National Football League will put the necessary safeguards in place to avoid relentless casino sponsorship during the matches. For instance, casino partners may be prohibited from directly advertising related sportsbook properties via NFL teams. There could also be a ban on a syndicated franchise to adopt a bettering-oriented partnership or revenue sharing model with a gambling operator. Casino advertising will also be limited to pre and post-match programming in the beginning.

Casino advertisers could be given the permission to display their NFL team logos in their ads. The teams can also use casino logos. In addition to this, stadia will be able to accept casinos as naming right partners. The NFL is yet to disclose its official directive on lifting the ban.

FanDuel and DraftKings advertised with most NFL franchises, but the league has banned its teams from selling sponsorships to casinos that ran sportsbooks. The announcement marks a huge event for the league. So far, only four states have legalized sports betting in the country. New Jersey and Nevada are already in, but Pennsylvania is expected to join the list soon.

The ban was imposed due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which is a 1992 federal law that prohibits sports betting in a majority of states. Three months ago, the US Supreme Court voted in favor of legalizing sports betting. It also upheld a 1994 New Jersey state law that allowed the people over 21 years of age to participate in gambling at horse racetracks and casinos.

The NBA became the first major sports league to allow sports betting partnerships as it entered a $25 million multi-year partnership with MGM Resorts International. The WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) has also added MGM Resorts as the official gaming partner of the league.