NFL Owners Approve Keeping Stadium Sportsbooks Open During Games

NFL owners approved a plan Tuesday that allows for in-stadium sportsbooks to remain open while games are played in those venues.

Boyd Raiders
Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders. NFL owners voted in favor of in-stadium sportsbooks remaining open on game days. (Image: NFL.com)

The decision is the latest in a long line signaling the leagues rapid transition from an anti-gaming stance to a broad embrace of the sports wagering industry. Currently, only the Washington Commanders have a sportsbook inside their home stadium while the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants and Jets and have wagering locations outside.

Citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter, The Athletic broke the news yesterday. A breakdown of how the 32 owners voted on the subject wasn’t revealed.

It is believed that under the plan to allow in-stadium sportsbooks to remain open on game day, teams will be able to retain all of the revenue generated up to $20 million. Anything above that level will be subject to the league’s revenue-sharing policies.

Roughly Half of NFL Teams Could Take Advantage

Sports betting is now live and legal in 33 states and Washington, DC. Of that group, 15 states and the nation’s capitol city are homes to NFL franchises.

Eight teams, or a quarter of the league, are located in California, Texas or Florida, meaning there’s little chance the seven relevant stadiums (the Los Angeles teams share a venue) will be homes to sportsbooks anytime soon. It remains to be seen how states such as Washington State and Wisconsin, which allow sports wagering only tribal casino grounds, deal with the issue of sportsbooks in NFL parks or if the subject is addressed at all.

Under the NFL’s new resolution, in-stadium sportsbooks are approved for venues located in states in which sports wagering is now legal.

How the issue is handled in tribal gaming-dominated states remains to be seen. The NFL has seven official sportsbook partners –BetMGM, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDue, FOX Bet, PointsBet, and WynnBET. However, Fanatics recently won approval to operate a retail sportsbook at the Commanders’ FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Revenue Share Likely Essential in Vote

Due to the fact that sports wagering isn’t yet legal in a broad swath of the states in which there are NFL teams, the revenue sharing element of the sportsbook vote may have been integral to its passage.

“Because bets will theoretically be placed not just on the home team — and because there is an equity concern that teams in states that continue to ban sports gambling will be at a disadvantage — revenue from sportsbooks beyond a certain threshold of revenue will be shared, unlike most forms of non-national revenues (Sponsorships, etc.) that teams have,” reports CBS Sports.

The league hasn’t released details on the process for teams putting out to bid contracts for operating in-stadium retail sportsbooks. That’s likely to be highly competitive in major sports wagering markets, including Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, among others.

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