NFL Embraces Betting


Ernesto Garcia

The National Football League has embraced gambling. Back in February this year, the NFL took another step towards fully legalized sports gambling by allowing teams to accept sponsorships from sportsbooks (a website where a gambler can wager on various sports competitions). 

The NFL’s current broadcast rights deals with CBS, NBC, FOX, and ESPN all expire in 2022, which could make sports betting a key part of any future negotiations.

It is worth noting that it has been roughly 15 months since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which cleared the way for 13 states to legalize sports betting. Also, for the first time in history, the NFL has its first casino sponsor: Caesars. These are all indications of the NFL’s engagement with sports betting.

Sultana sophomore, Matthew Estep, stated “I think it’s a good idea if you’re of the gambling age and there’s no interference with the players and possibly throwing the game like the 1919 World Series in MLB.” 

Matthew is referring to the “Black Sox Scandal” in which the White Sox played against the Red Sox. Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate. In brief, the NFL’s approach towards sports betting should not allow players to participate, as it can be abused like it was in 1919.

Sultana senior, Andrew Powell, more strongly expresses the same idea. He stated, “The fact that there will be a benefit of money for losing or winning will bring corruption and possibly take the fun part out of the sport rather than what we already have. It’s best to not touch something that’s not broken.” 

Sultana Junior, Devon Neal, is more in favor of sports betting. He stated, “I think it’s fun. It would add excitement to the sport and probably gather up a bigger audience since potentially winning money would be a part of it.”

It is believed that legalizing sports betting would be great for business. For example, many agree that gambling can boost the next potential generation of broadcasters such as Amazon and Apple in the sense that they can facilitate on screen betting. Also, Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, believes sports betting could increase the value of NFL TV rights by 50%; claiming that people are “50%” more likely to watch a game if they bet on it.

The NFL’s desire to legalize sports betting has pros and cons. When you take a look at the pros, sports betting can boost broadcasting revenue, audiences, excitement, etc. The negative effects include forms of corruption, but if properly legalized, this should not be a problem. 

The NFL is on the right track for legalizing sports betting. Whether the results will end in corruption or not, only time will tell.