NFL-Caesars Casino Deal: Is Sports Betting Up Next?

NFL-Caesars Casino Deal: Is Sports Betting Up Next?

Caesars Entertainment and the National Football League have inked the first ever casino deal in the league’s 97-year history.

Announced on Thursday, the partnership will make the gaming and entertainment conglomerate the “Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL”. The sponsorship will kickoff this weekend along with the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.

The multi-year deal is said to be worth around $30 million, though officials have not yet released full details of the arrangement. What is known is that the partnership will give Caesars exclusive rights to use NFL trademarks in the promotion of their various casino properties.

"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," stated Mark Frissora, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. "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."

While the deal will bring the opportunity for Caesars to gain more exposure at major NFL events such as the 2020 Draft and the Super Bowl, not every offering from their expansive portfolio will be promoted.

The agreement is strictly for casino gaming, with the NFL’s press release specifically highlighting that daily fantasy sports and sports betting are not included. Though the NFL lost its fight to prevent sports gambling expansion with the Supreme Court ruling in Murphy vs. NCAA, the league has yet to embrace the shift in the US sports betting industry.

Teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles already have separate advertising deals with Caesars, but these deal more with cross-promotion via stadiums and casino properties.

Other leagues, such as the NBA, MLB, and NHL, have entered into deals that capitalize on the legal sports betting opportunities for franchises and gaming entities. The NBA has partnered with Genius Sports and Sportradar to provide their official league data, while the NHL’s New Jersey Devils have an agreement with FanDuel for both fantasy contests and sports betting.

For now though, the NFL sees their signing with a casino as a major milestone in itself. When asked by the Associated Press as to the future of the NFL and a sports betting partnership, Renie Anderson, NFL Senior VP Of Sponsorship and Partnership Management, stated the following:

"We're not rushing into anything. We'll continue to look at the industry as it evolves, but it's still has a lot of evolving to do."

Eventually, it will be hard for the NFL to deny the estimated $2.3 billion that the league stands to make should they embrace legal sports betting. This estimate comes from the American Gaming Association, the trade group that has vehemently supported a regulated sports gambling environment both before and after the Supreme Court ruling.

USA online sportsbooks knows with one foot already in the door with the new Caesars-NFL deal, it may only be a matter of time before the league works directly with the sportsbooks they once fought against.