NFL Expects to Earn $270M From Gambling and Sports Betting Deals in 2021

NFL Players on Line of Scrimmage
After being opposed to sports betting for a long time, the NFL has changed tone in recent years and has embraced legal sports wagering as an income-generating business for the league. And according to one of its officials, it’s going to be massive source of revenue for the NFL.

According to an article from The Washington Post, the NFL is expecting to generate $270M from gambling and sports betting deals signed by the league and its 32 teams. The amount could go as high as $1 billion before the end of the decade.

The NFL estimated its 2020 season loss to roughly $4 billion due to the pandemic. But with fans expected to return to stadiums this season and a new TV rights contract worth a reported $100 billion, revenue was expected to bounce back this year. And with the sports betting deals entered into by the league and its teams, ,the NFL’s income figures for 2021 should get a boost.

NFL’s Sportsbook Partners and Commercials

Earlier this month, the NFL announced that it would allow six sportsbook commercials per game. The NFL also announced FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars its tri-exclusive sports betting partners last April and recently added a second batch of sportsbook alliances with FoxBet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBet.

The Arizona Cardinals also announced plans to build the first retail betting shop inside an NFL stadium at their State Farm Stadium. Last month, the New Orleans Saints entered into a partnership with Caesars Entertainment for the naming rights to its Superdome. Caesars meanwhile, also has a marketing deal with the Houston Texans even if gambling in general is not allowed in the state of Texas.

Sports Betting Industry Has Expanded Exponentially

Since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, the sports betting industry in the United States has grown exponentially and continues to grow right now. Currently, sports betting is legal in a dozen states plus Washington DC that are home to NFL franchise. Overall, 14 out of the league’s 32 teams are based in states where sports betting is legal.

The NFL’s 2021 season begins on September 9th and if the forecast by PlayUSA is correct, the league could generate a total betting handle of $20 billion for the regulated market, which is triple the $7 billion football handle forecast for the 2020 season. Should that $20B handle be realized this season, it would mean $1.5B in profits for the legal sports betting operators.

BetMGM Granted Sports Betting License in Arizona

MGM Resorts Picture
BetMGM revealed on Friday that it was one of the sports betting operators granted an “event wagering license” in the state of Arizona.

The New Jersey-based gambling operator previously partnered with the Arizona Cardinals and the Gila River Casinos to gain access to the Arizona market. With its approval, BetMGM registering customers for online and mobile sports betting on August 28th and then will be able to accept bets on September 9th, when the industry goes live.

Said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt in a statement:

“It is an exciting day here at BetMGM to get the official sign off to launch on day one of sports betting in Arizona. Through our partnerships with Gila River and the Arizona Cardinals, as well as the benefits of being connected to MGM Resorts properties nationwide, we have many exciting things in store for sports fans in Arizona.”

20 Total Sports Betting Licenses

At first, there was a lot of uncertainty as to whether the sports betting bill would be passed in Arizona. However, when things got started, it got together rather quickly. Last April 12th, the Arizona Senate passed HB 2772 by a 23-6 margin. Three days later, Gov. Doug Ducey put pen to paper to legalize mobile sports betting and retail sports wagering in the Grand Canyon State.

Although the launch is still on September 9th, sports betting companies have already positioned themselves in the market by making partnerships with sports betting teams, casinos, and even college football bowl games.

A total of 20 sports betting licenses will be handed out in Arizona, with 10 allotted to professional sports teams and the remaining 10 to be given to the Native American Tribes who own casinos in the state. The initial licenses were doled out this week with Penn National Gaming and FanDuel the first two companies to announce their approval as Arizona sports betting operators.

Arizona Sports Betting Law

To recap, Arizona sports betting will be governed by the Arizona Department of Gaming and they are tasked with creating the rules and regulations that will encompass the industry. Online wagers will be taxed at 10% of revenues while retail sports bets will be levied an 8% tax.

The Arizona sports betting law allows betting on collegiate sports, including Arizona colleges. However, betting on individual performances in college sports is not permitted. Conversely, bettors can make wagers on season performance and awards like the Heisman Trophy.

Sports Wagering license applications were priced at $100,000. Upon approval, sports betting operators will be required to pay an initial of $750,000 for an “event wagering license” and an annual renewal fee of $150,000. Limited operator licenses such as those in race tracks would cost much lower, at an application fee of $5,000, initial license fee of $25,000, and an annual renewal of $5,000.

Caesars Entertainment Secures Gambling Partnership With Fiesta Bowl

Caesars Entertainment Logo

Caesars Entertainment announced that it had secured a sports betting partnership with the Fiesta Bowl.

The agreement is th first fantasy gaming and sports betting alliance between a college football bowl game and a gambling company. Financial details of the deal were not revealed although Sports Illustrated confirmed that it is a multi-year pact.

Not coincidentally, the partnership takes effect on September 9th when the state of Arizona will launch legal sports betting.

Caesars Fan Lounge

As part of the partnership, Caesars will pay host to a newly created fan lounge within each stadium of the Fiesta Bowl and the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. These lounges will provide fans with an educational and engaging experience with the company’s brand ambassadors.

The standing-room only area can accommodate 800 persons and it will have bars and a DJ. Caesars will also become the title sponsor of the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl pregame parties and high-rollers will be rewarded with club and suite seats at both events.

Caesars will also make an annual donation to Fiesta Bowl charities. Although the specifics were not named, Fiesta Bowl chief marketing officer Jose Moreno said that the deals are “significant” in amount.

Just the Latest in College Football Deals Involving Sports Betting Companies

The deal between the Fiesta Bowl and Caesars is just the latest involving a sports betting company and college football.

Last year, the University of Colorado entered into a five-year $1.65M advertising agreement with PointsBet. That was the first such deal since 2017 when UNLV signed a deal with William Hill. The Arizona Bowl also announced a title sponsorship deal with Barstool Sports.

The Colorado and University of Nevada deals allow their partner companies to post corporate signages in athletic venues. The University of Colorado agreement includes a “finder’s fee” of $30 for each new customer sent to PointsBet.

FanDuel, Penn National Gaming Announce Approved Sports Betting License in Arizona

Arizona State Flag and an Arizona Casino

Industry sources have revealed that FanDuel and Penn National Gaming have both received event gaming licenses from the Arizona Department of Gaming last week. Both gambling companies were licensed as designees while their partner sports franchise/organizations were licensed as operators.

FanDuel was the first sports betting company to partner with a pro sports team in Arizona when they cut a deal with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns last fall. Arizona intends to launch legal sports betting on September 9th when the NFL’s 2021 season opens. However, FanDuel and Penn National can begin marketing campaigns and customer sign-ups on Saturday.

FanDuel previously said it plans to launch online sports betting as soon as possible and then build a retain sportsbook at the Suns’ Footprint Center. Meanwhile, Penn National Gaming is also expected to launch the Barstool Sports App first before building a sports betting shop at the Phoenix Raceway.

A Total of 10 Sports Betting License Applications Received

The Arizona Department of Gaming previously said it received a total of 10 sports betting license applications including one which they announced as rejected last week.

The ADG has not officially named the applicants, although there have been a total of six gambling entities which have aligned themselves with a partner Arizona sports team/organization in recent months.

FanDuel and Penn Gaming are two of the six, pairing with the Suns and Phoenix Raceway, respectively. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals teamed up with BetMGM while the Arizona Diamondbacks entered into a deal with Caesars Entertainment. Bally’s is a sports betting partner of the he WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and DraftKings paired with the golf’s TPC Scottsdale.

The Coyotes Don’t Have a Sports Betting Partner Yet

With Arizona’s six professional sports teams and organizations already tied up with a sports betting partner, only the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes have not named their official sports betting partner to date.

The franchise is still on the hunt for a new home after the city of Glendale said last Thursday that it won’t renew the team’s lease past the 2020-21 NHL season. One day later, the Coyotes sent a notice to their season ticket holders that they intend to stay in the metro Phoenix area.

Arizona’s sports betting law allows up to 20 retail sports betting licenses. 10 of the licenses will be allotted to the state’s professional teams and organizations while the other 10 are to be given to the Northern American tribes. In a recent announcement, the ADG said that it received a total of 16 applications from the tribes and that they are in the process of evaluating and selecting the 10 approved applicants.

BetMGM Forges Partnership With Liv Hospitality For Deadwood Sports Betting

Cadillacs Jacks Gaming Resort Front Entrance
BetMGM has positioned itself in the soon-to-open South Dakota sports betting market.

According to a press release, BetMGM has partnered with two Deadwood casinos owned by the Liv Hospitality Group. The two companies say that their compact will result in the BetMGM betting platform operating inside Liv’s Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort.

Per BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt:

“Liv Hospitality’s prime resort locations in Deadwood make it an ideal partner for us. Together, we look forward to bringing the BetMGM sports betting experience to South Dakota sports fans.”

These two casinos are the first gaming properties that travelers see when arriving in town via US Route 14. The Tin Lizzie is the state’s northernmost casino situated on Deadwood’s historic Main Street while Cadillac Jack’s is further north of Tin Lizzie.

BetMGM to Offer Retail and Online Sports Betting

By virtue of the partnership, BetMGM will offer sports betting kiosks and over-the-counter wagering via retail shops at the two casinos. Pending regulatory approval, the BetMGM App will also be accessible within both Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort beginning next month.

The Tin Lizzie’s casino floor boasts of 220 slot machines and eight gambling tables. Meanwhile, Cadillac Jack’s offers 240 slot video slot and 22 table games. Currently, both properties have started offering BetMGM sports betting promotions.

Tin Lizzie is offering a $20 resort credit to the first 250 customers who will create a BetMGM account. These persons will also be eligible to receive a matching bonus of up to $500 on their first deposit. Cadillac Jack’s meanwhile, is giving away $15 in Cadillac cash to the first 250 who will sign up with the BetMGM App.

September Launch

Legal South Dakota sports betting is eyeing a September launch. The South Dakota Commission on Gaming began accepting applications for sports betting license last July 1st. The commission is expected to meet on September 8th and if they issue the licenses on that day, then sports betting can begin the following day, September 9th which coincides with the opening of the 2021 NFL season.

The agency has not confirmed which sports betting operators have applied for a license in South Dakota although it is believed that the top players like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars have already submitted applications along with BetMGM.

Sports betting was legalized in South Dakota after voters passed a referendum ballot to amend the Constitution last November. The state legislature then passed the bill and it was signed into a law by Gov. Kresti Noem last March.

North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Advances After Senate Vote

North Carolina Flag

The North Carolina senate voted 26-19 on Thursday to pass a legislation that would allow legal mobile sports betting and sports betting shops located at or near major spots venues.

Senate Bill 688 now advances to the North Carolina House of Representatives for action. A companion been has been stuck in the House for months but the bill’s proponents hope that the Senate’s vote will push their counterparts in the House of Representatives to help push it forward.

If the bill passes out of the Republican party controlled General Assembly, it would still have to go through the office of Gov. Roy Cooper for his signature before it becomes a law.

North Carolina Sports Betting Will Have One of the Lowest Tax Rates in the Country

If the bill is signed to a law, it will permit 10 to 12 online spots betting operators in the state. Owners of the state’s major sports venues like the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, and Carolina Hurricanes will also be allowed to open a retail sportsbook at their venues. The host of the PGA Tour can also establish its own brick and mortar shop.

The initial licensing fees for mobile operators would be $500,000 with a renewal fee of $100,000 every five years. Gross gaming revenue would be taxed at 8%, which is one of the lowest tax rates in the country. Because of the low tax rates, competition for the limited licenses is expected to be stiff.

Only eligible bettor aged 21 or over are allowed to register make deposits, and place bets from anywhere within the state’s borders. In-person registration is not required and bettors can place bets on in-state college programs and eSports events as approved by the regulators.

Tribal Online Sports Betting License Will Not Count Against the Total

The North American Tribes in the state could also apply for a mobile gaming license since their current compact with the state only permits in-person wagering.

Currently, legal North Carolina sports betting only takes place at its two casinos, the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Cherokee Valley River via retail sportsbooks operated by Caesars Entertainment. A third casino, which is owned by the Catawba Nation and is still under construction, is also expected to offer legal sports betting when it commences operations.

If the Cherokees and the Catawba both apply for a mobile sports betting license, which is expected, and get approved, their licenses will not count against the sports betting bill’s 10-12 limit.

Resorts World Las Vegas Named as Official Resort of DarkZero Esports Team

Resorts World LV
In an effort to help combat fatigue among its players, professional esports organization DarkZero has entered into a landmark agreement that will make Resorts World Las Vegas as its official resort.

Said Tommy Padula, Head of Partnerships at GroundZero:

“We are thrilled to join forces with Las Vegas’s premier resort and entertainment destination. The health and wellness of our players & staff is at the center of everything we do, and Resorts World Las Vegas offers a variety of unique opportunities for our players/staff to get away and recharge.”

Exclusive Host of DarkZero Athletes and Partners

Through the partnership, DarkZero will exclusively host its athletes, partners, and industry leaders at Resorts World Las Vegas. With Resorts World’s luxury accommodation, impressive dining, and unmatched nightlife, DarkZero’s players can take time off to relax and recharge while its potential business partners can be entertained there as well.

DarkZero recently constructed a multi-million dollar facility to host its team which participates in the Rainbow Six Siege’s North American League. The league was supposed to begin in 2020 in a LAN environment but restrictions during the pandemic have forced the LAN part of the league to 2021.

The organization’s Rainbow Six Siege Team has qualified for the Mexico Major which begins on August 16. DarkZero’s Valorant squad recently fell one map shot of beating TSM at the final open qualifier for the VCT Tree Masters: Berlin, which begins next month. Its Valorant team is ranked 21st in North America.

VIP Esports Experiences For Resort Guests

As the official resort of DarkZero, the Resorts World logo will appear on the left sleeve of its Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant teams, as well as in the DarkZero homepage, and company and players social media accounts.

Aside from that, DarkZero will offer VIP experiences for Resorts World Las Vegas. These offers will be used at the resort’s disposal. An example of this is “Play with a Pro”, which is an experimental opportunity to to play one-on-one with the best gamers in the industry.

Likewise, high profile resort guests who love gaming or want to try their hand at esports can learn from DarkZero’s pros in the comfort of their hotel rooms. They can also head to the DZHQ, DarkZero’s compound located just outside the strip.

Penn National Gaming to Acquire Score Media for $1.74B

Penn National Gaming

In its bid to expand in the fast-growing North American sports betting market, Penn National Gaming announced on Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Score Media & Gaming Inc. for $1.74B in cash and stocks.

Under the deal, Penn will pay Score Media shareholders $34 per share in a mix of cash and stocks. Score owners will get $17 in cash plus .2398 shares of Penn National common stock per Score share. Once the transaction is consummated, Penn National will own approximately 93% of Score Media’s outstanding shares.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2022.

Said Penn National Gaming Chief Executive Officer Jay Snowden in an interview:

“There’s so much that theScore does that is so complementary with what Penn does and Barstool does. You put it all together and there’s so much synergy for the future in terms of revenue growth.”

Goldman Sachs and Code Advisors will provide financial advice to Penn National, with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Blake, Cassels & Graydon acting as the company’s legal counsel. Score is receiving financial advice from Morgan Stanley and Canaccord Genuity Group, and legal services from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and McCarthy Tétrault.

No.1 Sports App in Canada

Penn National and Score Media have a strategic partnership going on since 2019. The latter’s media app called theScore is the number one sports app in Canada and the number 3 ranked mobile app of its kind in North America.

Score media traces its roots in the television industry with a cable channel that was known as The Score. However, it could not overtake its two rival Canadian TV networks and Chief Executive Officer John Levy opted to bet his company’s future on digital assets. He sold the TV license in 2012 and focused on a sports website and a mobile app, then later moved into sports betting.

Penn’s Stock Rises

Following Thursday’s announcement by Penn Gaming, its stocks rose up to 11% to $73.43, the most since January. Meanwhile, Score went up by as much as 83% to $33.16 in New York, its most intraday trading since May 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Penn National, which purchased a 36% ownership share in Dave Portnoy’s Barstool Sports last January 2020, had seen its stocks decline in recent months amid the shortage of sporting events and as the company struggled to gain market share in recently legalized sports betting markets in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Sporttrade Gains Colorado Sports Betting Market Access

Colorado Casinos
Fintech sports betting company Sporttrade has gained access to the Colorado sports betting industry after acquiring Denver-based sports betting company Momentum Sports and Entertainment Inc.

Momentum owns and operates an internet sports betting operator license in the Centennial State via a market access agreement with GF Gaming and its local affiliate Easy Street Casino.

In a statement, Sporttrade founder and CEO Alex Kane said:

“We are pleased to announce launch plans in Colorado, a state that has been an early believer in the growth and potential of legalized sports betting with thriving fan bases across multiple professional and college sports teams. Our team looks forward to expanding our presence across the US while continuing to refine our sports betting exchange to provide Sporttrade’s passionate user base with a secure, transparent, and technologically advanced platform from which to wager.”

Open Market Betting Place

Founded in 2018, Sportrade allows bettors to “trade” sporting events the way they trade stocks, via its open market betting place. Under this feature, bettors are presented with tighter spreads, more liquidity, and unique options like the ability to trade in and out of bets at any time and the “always on” in-play betting.

This exchange model aims to make sports betting work like stock trading with outcome based contracts that close at $0 or $100 and the ability to buy or sell at market-based prices before and during the action.

Shaking up The Balance of Power

The state of Colorado handed out more than 30 licenses when it launched legal sports betting in 2020 and generated an estimated $1.2B in bets at the end of the year. Despite having many players, sports betting industry analysts say that 84% of the gaming revenue went to giants DraftKings and FanDuel but Sporttrade hopes that its unique approach to sports wagering will shake up the balance of power.

Sporttrade’s entry to the Colorado market comes after it announced a $36M fund raising to strengthen its position as the only sports betting exchange in the United States. Pending approvals and licensing by the New Jersey Division on Gaming Enforcement, Sporttrade will launch its iOS app in the Garden State.

Caesars Entertainment Launches New Sports Betting App

Caesars Entertainment Logo
Caesars Entertainment has launched a new mobile sportsbook called Caesars Sportsbook.

Operating on Liberty, the company’s owned and integrated stack, the new mobile sportsbook is currently live in eight states- Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Pending regulatory approvals, it is also expected to launch in Arizona, Maryland, and Louisiana.

In Illinois, Nevada, and Washington DC where sports bettors are required to be at or near a Caesars sportsbook to place a wager, bettors will now have access to the Caesars Sportsbook.

Said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment:

“We are excited to launch our new comprehensive marketing campaign for Caesars Sportsbook. The rebranded and upgraded offerings for our Caesars Sportsbook will provide customized offers, flexible limits, a wide range of betting lines, and an intuitive user experience. Caesars Sportsbook also brings players into an empire of play where, win or lose, every wager gives them more through our award-winning Caesars Rewards.”

Upgraded Look and Link to Caesars Rewards

The new Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill offers users exclusive boosts on profit and flexible betting limits. To celebrate its launch, Caesars Sportsbook is offering first-time app users to place their first bet of up to $5,000, risk free. Aside from the rebranded and improved sports betting experience, app users are also linked to Caesars Rewards .

Under its rewards program, bettors will earn Caesars Rewards Tier Credits and Rewards Credits for every bet made, win or lose. Rewards Credits can be redeemed at the company’s more than 50 destinations in 16 states. This means that everything a player earns online can be used for free play, dining, getaways, and specially curated sports and entertainment experiences.

Nationwide Advertising Campaign

To ramp up the new product and to educate customers about it, Caesars Entertainment is launching a nationwide advertising campaign with actor-comedian JB Smoove embodying the legendary Caesar. As an avid spots fan, Smoove can easily line up with the vision of Caesars Sportsbook. The series of ads also features Patton Oswald as Carl, one of Caesars biggest fan who is already playing on Caesars Sportsbook while earning Caesars Rewards.

Caesars is the official casino sponsor and the official sports betting partner of the NFL. It also has partnership deals with the NBA, NHL, MLB, and other individual teams. Caesars recently became the naming partner of the New Orleans Saints’ home field which is now known as Caesas Superdome.