Meadowlands Becomes First US Sportsbook To Offer Live Betting At An NFL Game

Meadowlands Becomes First US Sportsbook To Offer Live Betting At An NFL Game

Well, the first week of the NFL preseason has finally arrived, and Thursday’s slate of games was noteworthy for a number of reasons, particularly to Browns and Giants fans. For one thing, last night was the debut of the highly-touted and surprising-but-not-really number-one pick of the 2018 NFL draft, OU’s Baker Mayfield. The Browns who were 0-16 last season, have nowhere to go but up, but even the most skeptical of fans had to be impressed by the diminutive Mayfield’s 2-touchdown performance leading the Cleveland club to a 20-10 victory against the New York home team.

Of course, New York fans were equally interested in the game, as the Giants – coming off an embarrassing season where they went 3-13 – are facing a potential rebuilding period in the twilight of longtime starter and two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning’s career. Eli did play a few snaps for the G-Men on Thursday night, but most of the action went to second- and third-string options (which is typical for a preseason game). Of course, none of that was really where the crux of the attention on this particular matchup was placed by the sporting world.

No, the real news from yesterday’s Cleveland-New York tilt was that it represents the first time in US sports history that sanctioned, legal wagers were openly placed on the outcome of the game at the game itself!

Remember, the Giants play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Because the Meadowlands was one of the first venues in New Jersey to offer legal sports betting (which is operated via a partnership with FanDuel of DFS fame), there was much curiosity in the sporting and gambling public about how live sports betting would work when operated during a matchup, on-site on stadium grounds.

Well, despite the moanings and groanings of money-grubbing talking heads and league officials (like the NFL’s own Roger Goodell, who is both of those things), live sports betting at the Meadowlands during an actual NFL game has now come and gone. Even better, it did so smoothly, with zero technical problems of any kind. The consensus, from both fans and the Meadowlands sportsbook operators, is that such on-site, in-game wagering is not only achievable, but it actually adds value for the spectators. Most fans and bettors interviewed summed up their Meadowlands sportsbook reviews with some variation of the common “Betting on sports makes sports more fun” line. And that’s the point, isn’t it?

The logistics of legally betting on the NFL at an actual NFL game are interesting, but they aren’t nearly as intricate or troublesome as many anti-gambling, “integrity of the sport” types would have you believe. There was no foul play, there were no shenanigans, and the FanDuel platform ran smoothly all night long. Better yet, sports bettors at the game didn’t even have to leave their seats or visit the physical ticket windows at the Meadowlands sportsbook to place their wagers. Instead, all they had to do was use their mobile phones to lock in their picks.

That’s because the FanDuel sportsbook at The Big M allows users to access their lines and odds – and to place their wagers – all through branded mobile smartphone apps. Fans with iPhones, iPads, or Android devices simply had to pull out their mobiles and wager, and they could do this conveniently and efficiently, in real-time, right from their seats in the stands.

The Meadowlands’ mobile betting component proved robust, reliable, and steady during all of last night’s action at the venue, which – though expected – must be something of a relief to the bookmakers. And, of course, this will be a blueprint for sports betting at other professional athletic events and venues in the future (like, say, in Las Vegas, where the Raiders will start playing in the 2019 or 2020 season, depending on the pace of construction of their new Sin City digs).

However, it’s important to note that mobile betting at the Meadowlands is currently limited only to those bettors physically on the premises, as the iPhone and Android apps interfacing with the FanDuel Meadowlands sportsbook are geo-fenced (as is regular browser access). This means that, at least right now, you still actually have to be on Meadowlands grounds to place bets with the sportsbook; you cannot place these bets from home, even if you live inside the state of New Jersey.

On-site, the Meadowlands sportsbook offered in-game betting on the Browns-Giants matchup until well into the fourth quarter, by which time the Browns had built a 10-point lead and the sportsbook was no longer looking to offer live lines beyond that point. This, of course, is common in the sports betting world, albeit once the NFL regular season gets underway, you can bet that sports betting on the Giants and Jets at the Meadowlands will be a full 4-quarter ordeal. This is just the preseason, after all.

But 2018 is different. This isn’t just the preseason for the NFL. This, by all practical measures, is also the preseason for a new era of sports betting in the United States for USA online sportsbooks. And things are looking extremely good for the pastime.