Last updated on: August 15th, 2022

What The NFL Thinks About Legal Sports Betting

The NFL was the last of the major professional sports leagues to embrace legal sports betting, but they have since done a total 180 and fully support it. Once the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which the NFL actually opposed as they were one of the main backers back in 1992 when the bill was passed, the NFL slowly became more comfortable with sports betting. It is estimated that hundreds of billions of dollars are bet on the NFL, making in the single most popular sports league to bet on. It was only a matter of time before the NFL changed its view on sports betting given the revenue that the league was missing out on.

Does The NFL Support Legal Sports Betting?

Legal sports betting in the NFL has never been more popular, and the league has never supported it more. Since the repeal of PASPA in 2018 ,the NFL has endorsed sports betting through partnerships, in-stadium sportsbooks, and the use of official sports betting data. The NFL has also since announced agreements with seven different sports betting operators who may bid for advertising rights, commercial rights, and use official league data. The seven operators are BetMGM, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, FOX Bet, PointsPet, and WynnBET.

Is The NFL Against Super Bowl Betting

There was a time when the NFL was indeed against Super Bowl betting, but heading into Super Bowl 55 that is no longer the case. The NFL has curated multiple deals with sports betting entities whether it be NFL teams partnering with sportsbooks or the league itself supplying official league data for sports betting purposes. The NFL in the last year alone has drastically changed its stance on sports betting. Many teams from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Detroit Lions have partnered with sportsbooks, signing exclusive deals offering team marks and even on-field advertisements at home games. The NFL itself has dealt with sportsbooks like 888Sports, which is an official sports betting partner of the league. The NFL is not against Super Bowl betting.

Roger Goodell Quotes On Sports Betting

  • 2017: According to ESPN in 2017 Goodell said “I think we still strongly oppose legalized sports gambling. The integrity of our game is number one. We will not compromise on that.”
  • 2021: In 2021 via ProFootballTalk the commissioner said “We’re going to find ways we can engage fans through legalized sports betting.”

Do NFL Owners Support Legal Sports Betting?

More and more NFL owners are beginning to accept sports betting as in-stadium sportsbooks pop up. Teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New York Jets/Giants all have sports betting lounges in their stadiums. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan in an interview with Yahoo Sports said he believes NFL owners are ready to start having serious discussions about implementing sports betting at their individual stadiums. The Los Angeles Rams also have a betting-like app that is available to users nationwide. It seems as though owners will act independently rather than pushing Roger Goodell or the league as a whole to do something.

Legal Sports Betting Will Only Make The NFL Better

The freedom for people to spend their money as they wish is never a bad thing, and legal sports betting is poised to improve the NFL in a number of ways. Not only will easy access to sportsbooks and their various prop bets keep more folks glued to their TV screens even after their team is getting blown out by 28 in the third quarter, it’ll let folks cash in when they bet on said losing team to make an epic Super Bowl comeback and rip the heart out of an entire southern population center. Increased engagement naturally leads to increased revenue and increased advertiser support, too, so every party benefits.

Plus, there’s even an outside chance that the increased profits might lead the NFLPA to negotiate a better CBA, making the payout for the players better, too. The NFL, after all, is one of the most dangerous sports on the planet, and it takes considerable risk to play in the thing. Maybe not as much as betting on it, but considerable nevertheless. So maybe their marquee players should make a little bit more than, say, a bottom-third shortstop or a perpetually injured 11th man. The NFL’s opinion on sports betting is likely to change over time based on how much money they stand to make or lose.

Now if only we could get the NFL to quit throwing flags every time a 400-pound lineman tries to perform an end zone riverdance, we’d really be getting somewhere.

Is The NFL Against Super Bowl Betting?

There was a time that the NFL was against betting on the Super Bowl, but after a reported eight billion dollars bet on the Super Bowl that is no longer true. In Super Bowl 56 there were two sportsbooks that took up valuable commercial sports, while many other big-name companies shelled out millions leading up to the game as well. The NFL has shown so much support for betting on the Super Bowl that they scheduled the 2024 Super Bowl to be in Las Vegas. Not to be outdone, State Farm Arena (the host for the 2023 Super Bowl) in Glendale, Arizona has announced a partnership with BetMGM to have a sportsbook located inside the stadium.

Do NFL Owners Support Sports Betting?

Yes, NFL owners are on board with betting on NFL games. In fact, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft own stock in DraftKings. NFL owners are financially motivated and see how sports betting generates revenue and can help increase interest in the league. It has been reported that some NFL owners believe sports gambling may cause NFL teams to eventually be worth $8-$10 billion.

NFL Franchises With Sportsbook Partnerships.

Since 2018, 18 NFL franchises have partnered with sports betting operators. The first partnership between a sportsbook and an NFL Franchise was between the Denver Broncos and FanDuel back in 2018. That is when the stigma around sports betting shifted in the NFL, as more and more teams saw how lucrative the business was becoming.

NFL Sportsbook Partnerships By Team.

Team Sportsbook Partnerships
Arizona Cardinals BetMGM
Baltimore Ravens BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel
Buffalo Bills Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel
Chicago Bears BetRivers, PointsBet
Cleveland Browns Bally Bet
Denver Broncos Betfred, BetMGM, FanDuel
Detroit Lions BetMGM, WynnBET
Indianapolis Colts Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, PointsBet, WynnBET
Las Vegas Raiders BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET
Miami Dolphins Hard Rock Sportsbook
New England Patriots DraftKings Sportsbook
New Orleans Saints Caesars Sportsbook
New York Giants DraftKings Sportsbook
New York Jets BetMGM, FanDuel, WynnBET
Philadelphia Eagles Caesars Sportsbook, FOX Bet, Unibet
Pittsburgh Steelers BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook, Unibet
Tennessee Titans BetMGM
Washington Commanders FanDuel

NFL Sports Betting Controversies

Despite the league putting such a large emphasis on maintaining the integrity of the game and clearly outlining in their NFL gambling policy the rules for all players, the NFL has had two major controversies already since PASPA was overturned in 2018. In both cases, the NFL has suspended the player for at least one year. The players then have to apply for reinstatement without being guaranteed acceptance. The most recent players that have been suspended by the NFL for betting on games are:

  • Calvin Ridley in 2021: The biggest name to have been suspended by the NFL for gambling on games is Calvin Ridley. Ridley was suspended in March of 2022 when the NFL discovered that he had bet on games during the 2021 season. He will be eligible to appeal on February 15th, 2023.
  • Josh Shaw in 2019:  The first player to have been suspended by the NFL for gambling on games since the 1980s, Josh Shaw was suspended by the NFL in 2019 for placing a parlay while he was on injured reserve. Interestingly enough, he actually bet against his team at the time, the Arizona Cardinals. The bet was a success. Shaw has since been reinstated by the league, but is without a team.

What Was The NFL’s Stance On Sports Betting Prior To PASPA Getting Overturned?

The NFL was totally opposed to sports betting for a long time. They were one of the many sports leagues that supported the passage of PASPA in 1992, and would even eventually sue New Jersey back in 2012 when the state tried to legalize sports gambling on the basis that it violated PASPA. Not long after that, the NFL made Tony Romo cancel a fantasy football event in 2015 simply because it was in a Las Vegas casino that had a sportsbook. Since that point, the NFL has steadily accepted sports betting and has even partnered with multiple sportsbook operators.

NFL’s Views On Legal Sports Betting FAQs

Will The NFL Ever Partner With A Sports Betting Company?

Judging by how every other league has already done this, we expect it’s only a matter of time before the NFL does the same. Having sports betting companies as partners ultimately allows the NFL to better distribute its in-game data which means better live betting opportunities which means higher fan engagement. It’s only in the league’s best interest to partner with prominent U.S. sportsbooks.

Can The NFL Stop Teams From Having Sportsbooks In Their Stadiums?

The NFL, while a powerful influencer, can not get in the way of local state laws. Places like Illinois and Washington D.C. allow sports betting parlors in their professional teams’ stadiums. That means FedEx Field and Soldier Field could soon start to offer legal sports betting.