clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What the NFL’s deal with Caesars Entertainment actually means

New, comment

The NFL inked a deal with a casino organization, but no gambling is included.

Exploring Nevada’s Sin City Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

The NFL has entered a partnership with Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of over 50 casinos and hotels in the United States. However, despite recent rulings on sports gambling the deal doesn’t include any sports betting.

In a press release Caesars Entertainment said the deal would be:

“... providing unique experiences for NFL fans by using its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists and a wide range of entertainment elements.”

It’s unclear how that will materialize at this time, but the press release said Caesars would be using its casinos in promoting core NFL events, including the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft.

What does the deal actually include?

The aforementioned promotion of NFL product inside casinos and hotels, but also the ability for Caesars to use the NFL shield logo, and league branding to promote events.

However, Caesars has agreed, as part of the $30 million per-year deal not to include any league branding on sports betting products. So currently the deal extends only to entertainment properties in the casino that don’t including betting.

But this deal doesn’t include any gambling ... yet.

The NFL remains hesitant against promoting sports gambling directly, despite eight states having legalized sports betting, several more in the process of legalization and a New Jersey supreme court decision paving the way for states to make their own decisions on legalizing sports betting.

NFL senior vice president Renie Anderson said the league would monitor sports gambling, but was noncommittal about making moves at this time.

“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.”

The current deal already creates a working relationship between the league and one of the largest betting organizations in the world. Should the industry “evolve” in a way the NFL feels confident in it’s clear Caesars would have an inside track on working up an agreement with the league to formally promote betting inside casinos with NFL branding.

If that were to occur Bloomberg reports than the NFL could stand to gain unprecedented amounts of revenue from the deal.

“The NFL eventually stands to reap as much as $2.3 billion in annual revenue from the industry, more than any other league, according to the American Gaming Association.”

Several teams already have independent deals with Caesars: the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles all have deals in place currently.

Where do the other leagues stand on sports betting?

The NBA, MLB, and NHL all have current deals in place with MGM Resorts International and have accepted that sports betting will be a part of the future landscape. Unlike the NFL the other major leagues all embraced the future of sports betting in the U.S. and branding is already rolling out at official events.

ESPN reports that the NBA logo was prominently displayed inside the Borgata Hotel sportsbook in Atlantic City in fall of 2018.

What does the NFL/Caesars deal mean for me?

It’s unclear, even if you frequent Caesars hotels. The press release from the company says the sponsorship deal will open opportunities for loyalty rewards members of Caesars, but it’s unknown how that will materialize at this time.

For now it’s an interesting first test to establish a relationship between the NFL and a casino operator.