The NFL resisted any connection to gambling for decades. Now, it’s hiring a vice president that will specialize in betting.
The league’s change in philosophy on gambling has been abrupt, but necessary. Legal Sports Report said the NFL is looking for a new vice president of sports betting to “oversee the league’s betting initiatives” and cited a job description being circulated by headhunters.
The NFL couldn’t afford to act like gambling on its game doesn’t exist, especially with 20 states now having legislation allowing legal sports wagering with more states likely to add it. It’s just rather shocking, with the league’s history of being staunchly against anything remotely related to gambling.
NFL has specific goals for new VP job
Legal Sports Report said the NFL’s job description had these four parts:
Continuing to protect the integrity of the game
Advancing the NFL’s brand and reputation
Driving fan engagement globally
Growing the value of NFL’s data & IP
The league, as it has expanded its gambling partnerships, has continued to use “integrity of the game” as a talking point at every step. That’s probably overstated. Legal gambling puts in far more safeguards for issues like game fixing than illegal gambling ever could. But the NFL is smart to be proactive with those potential concerns.
The league is also smart to embrace sports gambling, because it’s going to continue to grow to heights that didn’t seem possible just a few years ago.
Betting on NFL is big business
Super Bowl LIV did big business in Nevada. The Nevada Gaming Control Board said $154,679,241 was bet on the game. And that’s just in Nevada.
It’s not like betting on the NFL is a new phenomenon. It’s just growing, and other leagues embracing gambling have opened the door for the NFL to follow suit with a casino partnership, and putting the Raiders and its 2020 draft in Las Vegas. That never would have happened a few years ago.
Legal Sports Report pointed out that the NFL might even start to push gambling content on its platforms; the job description said the new VP job will also oversee “distribution of content for gaming purposes and the integration of gaming products into the NFL’s platforms.”
The landscape is changing. And the NFL is coming around, quickly and completely.
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