NFL Adds Four “Second-Tier” Official Sportsbook Partners

NFL Flag on Field
More sports betting companies are aligning themselves with the most popular professional sports league in North America.

BetMGM, PointsBet, FoxBet and WynnBet have forged partnerships with the National Football League (NFL) as “second tier” sports betting partners.

The agreements follow the “tri-exclusive” five-year sports betting partnership signed by the league with DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars last April. That deal was announced a couple of weeks after the NFL entered into an exclusive data tie-up with Genius Sports.

Focus on Data and Advertising

This new set of sports betting deals focus mainly on data and advertising. The three sports betting companies will commit to purchase official league data from NFL’s partner Genius Sports and will be getting the right to advertise on TV during NFL games.

It wasn’t revealed however if the three new partners would be allowed to use the official NFL logo in their products.

It’s not clear right now whether the league will continue to accept sports betting partners in the future. League officials refused to comment when they were asked regarding this matter. What is certain is that the league will include sports betting commercials are coming to the NFL this season.

Six Sportsbook Commercials Per Game

Following the the addition of the four new sports betting partners, the NFL announced the number of spots betting advertisements that will be permitted to air during every game broadcast this season.

According to Bill King of Sports Business Journal, the NFL has agreed to allow up to six sportsbook commercials per game. Specifically, one advertisement can be televised by the networks per quarter. The other two will be permitted during the pregame show and at halftime.

The advertisement spots will be sold by the league’s broadcast partners NBC, Fox, CBS, and ESPN to the three “exclusive” sports betting partners revealed four months ago and the four new “second tier” sportsbook-partners announced this week.

NFL Finally Embracing Sports Betting

The NFL was opposed to legal sports betting for a long time. It even went to court and fought for six years the attempt of the state of New Jersey to bring legal sports betting outside Nevada.

But since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 three years ago, the sports betting industry has grown exponentially in the United States. With other top pro sports leagues and their teams already reaping the financial rewards of legal sports betting, the NFL has come on in recent years.

Several NFL teams have already entered into sports betting deals with gambling companies, the most recent of which was the Arizona Cardinals who partnered with BetMGM. As for the league, its April deal with its “tri-exclusive” sports betting partners is worth $1B over the next five years if they run their course.

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.

DraftKings Named as Boston Red Sox Official and Exclusive Daily Fantasy Sports Partner

Large Picture of Baseball With a Baseball Field Background
Boston-based DraftKings has entered into an agreement to become the official and exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of the Boston Red Sox.

Said Ezra Kucharz, the chief business officer of DraftKings in a statement:

“We are thrilled to team up with a historic franchise like the Red Sox and bring DraftKings closer to this passionate fanbase, which is even more special given our hometown Boston roots. As a Boston-born company, we are well-acquainted with the devotion of Boston sports fans, and we believe the engagement possibilities of this integration are only just beginning.”

The Red Sox is the latest deal that DraftKings has entered into in the area. Previously, it signed similar pacts with the New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.

In-Stadium Branding

The in-stadium branding privileges of the deal include the DraftKings logo will be displayed throughout Fenway Park, in addition to it current signage above the iconic Green Monster. DraftKings will also have field level home plate signages and LED branding along the first and third baseline for one inning at every regular season home game.

Aside from those, DraftKings will be promoted as the official daily fantasy partner of the Red Sox Foundation through emails, social media posts, and the Red Sox Foundation. To further its CSR efforts, DraftKings will also have title sponsorship to to the 50-50 raffle for all home games. This includes branding on raffle sales team paddleboards, raffle tickets, and email blasts.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Closer to Being Legalized

The announcement of the deal comes one week after the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 156-3 in favor of a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state. The bill was a comprehensive one, as it was the product of 19 different gambling bills from at least a dozen lawmakers. Before it got the nod last week, a total of 13 amendments were added to H 3974.

With the approval of H 3974 in the Massachusetts House, the bill is now headed to the Upper Chamber and from the Senate, it is hoped that it will smoothly sail to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker, who is one of the leading proponents for the Massachusetts sports betting bill.

DraftKings First to Get DFS Approval in Louisiana

Odds Board and Money

DraftKings became the first daily fantasy operator to get its licensed application approved in Louisiana after the Louisiana Gaming Control Board gave its nod on Thursday morning.

The effectivity of the approval is immediate and DratKings could begin DFS operations on Thursday.

By being the first DFS operator in the state ,DraftKings will have the leg up in both DFS and sports betting by being able to go live first. That’s because operators usually use their DFS databases to convert clients to sports betting, so having more time to build a DFS client base will work to its advantage.

Said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America:

“As DraftKings continues our nationwide expansion, we welcome Louisiana to the DraftKings family, an area rich with culture, heritage, and diehard fanbases in both college and professional sports. The Bayou will now have access to our world-leading daily fantasy sports product as we ramp up toward the kickoff of football season.”

$1.3M in Taxes for the State

DraftKings submitted its licensing request last February or shortly after the gaming board opened the application period. The Louisiana State Police Department conducted a background investigation and financial review of the company to ensure it complied with state regulations.

The LGCB says that DraftKings estimated that it would bring $15.5M in net revenue for the current year which would generate nearly $1.3M in tax dollars for the state.

DFS Permitted in Parishes Which Voted For Sports Betting

Louisiana residents who wish to participate in Daily Fantasy Sports activities will have be at least 21 years old and will have to be physically present in one of the parishes that voted to approve the legalization of sports betting. Those who reside in the parishes that voted in the negative will have to travel to one of the approving parishes to log-in to the online sites.

55 out of Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted to legalize DFS, sports betting on live action games but the gaming board has not yet finalized the regulations as well as the application process to start sports betting via retail betting sites, mobile apps, and online sites.

FanDuel and DraftKings Pour in $20M for Florida Sports Betting Initiative

Florida Flag With a Casino Background
Sports betting industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings contributed a massive sum last month to back a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize sports betting in Florida.

According to campaign finance records reported by Florida Education Champions to the Florida Division of Elections on Monday, FanDuel and DraftKings poured in $10M each during the month of June to back its campaign to allow sports betting platforms to operate in the state.

Established in June, the Florida Education Champions is the sports betting political action committee ( PAC ) that is pushing for the legalization of Florida sports betting.

Said David Johnson, committee chair of the Florida Education Champions:

“Thank you to DraftKings and FanDuel for stepping up to the plate in an incredible way to kick off our amendment process that stands to help all Floridians. Our amendment will direct hundreds of millions of additional dollars toward Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and open up the market for online sports betting to competition.”

Contribution Cap Blocked

The $20M funding came in before the expected effective date of a new law that would cap contributions made to committees sponsoring initiatives up to $3,000 until the constitutional amendment they are backing makes the ballot. That initiative however, was blocked by a federal judge on the day it was supposed to take effect.

After spending approximately $160,000 for research, marketing software, website management, and legal services, Florida Education Champions entered July armed with a $19.84M bank account which will be used as it war chest to push for their initiative with education as its selling point.

Legalization of Sports Betting in Florida

If approved, the amendment will legalize sports betting in Florida stadiums and other venues including pari-mutuels all over the state. It specifically authorizes online sports betting by entities authorized to conduct online sports betting and by Native American tribes with a gaming compact with the state.

The initiative would authorize the Legislature to tax legal sports betting with all revenues going to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, an account funded by the Florida Lottery and which pays for various educational programs such as the Bright Futures Scholarships.

Wynn Online Sports Betting Business Going Public Via SPAC Merger

Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s online sports betting business is going public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company.

According to a press release from Wynn Resorts on Monday, the company is merging Wynn interactive division with Austerlitz Acquisition Corp.I, a blank-check company established by title-insurance magnate William P. Foley II. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

The new entity will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the name Wynn Interactive Ltd., with the trading symbol WBET.

Said Wynn Chief Executive Officer Matt Maddox in a statement:

“We are confident that this transaction will unlock the tremendous potential of Wynn Interactive to further accelerate growth and enable the business to capture the massive opportunity in North America.”

Online Projections

Wynn Interactive projected an online revenue of $708M for 2023, based on a 5% to 7% share of the U.S. market. The company’s current annual run rate is $100M per executives during a conference call for investors. Wynn Resorts shares gained as much as 3.1% to $129.67 in after-hours trading. They were up 11% this year through the close of Monday transactions in New York.

The Wynn merger follows the route that other big gaming companies have undertaken in recent times. DraftKings Inc., Golden Nugget Online Gambling Inc., and Rush Street Interactive have gone public after merging with a SPAC company. The deal is expected to fetch $640M in cash for Wynn Resorts.

About the Companies

Wynn Interactive is currently operating via WynnBet in six U.S states: New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Indiana, and Tennessee. The company says that it has market access opportunities in a total of 15 states that covers an estimated 15% of the United States population.

Austerlitz is one of six blank check companies founded by Foley through his Cannae Holdings and has reportedly created more than $140B in value. Foley, whose net worth was listed by Forbes at $1.9B, has holdings in the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, Fidelity National Financial, and software provider Black Knight.

NFL Signs Sports Betting Deals With Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel

NFL Flag on Field

The National Football League (NFL) announced on Thursday that it has inked deals with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel to become the league’s official sports betting partners.

Caesars will remain as the NFL’s official casino sponsor and will be called upon to create content and opportunities for customer engagement using its nationwide network of retail sportsbooks. DraftKings is renewing its role as the league daily sports fantasy partner and will integrate content across NFL media channels. FanDuel meanwhile, will have access to league footages and will work with the NFL on pre-game integration opportunities via the NFL Network.

Said Renie Anderson, the NFL’s chief revenue officer and executive director of partnerships:

“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the United States, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals. Working closely with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, we will provide fans new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sport they love.”

Exclusive Access to NFL Trademarks

By virtue of the agreement, the United States’ top three largest sportsbook operators will have exclusive access to the use of the official NFL trademarks with their retail and online sports betting operations. The sportsbook operators will also engage NFL fans in free-to-play games.

The three major sportsbooks are also allowed to integrate sports betting content directly to the NFL’s media properties including its website NFL.com and its mobile app, the NFL App. The financial terms of the deals were not revealed but sources told ESPN that they are all five-year deals which will net the NFL an estimated amount just shy of $1B combined.

Against Sports Betting

The NFL was once one of the staunchest opposition to the legalization of sports betting. It vehemently fought New Jersey’s attempt to overturn a ban on legal sports betting in the United States, claiming that betting on their games could affect the integrity of their games.

But New Jersey won a Supreme Court decision in 2018 to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, paving the way for the legalization of sports betting in the U.S. Two years later, nearly half of the U.S. states have legalized sports betting in their jurisdiction. With the change in landscape, the NFL finally took advantage of its popularity by cashing in as well.

Michigan Online Sports Betting Took in $301.9M in Wagers During February 2021

Closeup of Man Making Sports Bets on His Phone
The Michigan Gaming Control Board revealed the state’s internet gaming and sports betting revenues for the month of February on Tuesday and the figures were solid.

According to the MGCB, the Wolverine State’s online sportsbooks took in a total of $301.9M in wagers during February 2021, including Super Bowl LV bets. The online handle was 130% higher than the retail handle of $23.7M for the same month.

The MGCB reported that the state’s 12 online betting operators had a total of $79.7M in gross receipts from internet gaming for February 2021 while also accumulating $9.5M in gross receipts from online sports betting. These resulted in a total of $14.1M in tax revenues for the state.

Said Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Richard S. Kalm:

“Michigan residents and visitors continued to show strong interest in internet gaming and sports betting during a snowy and cold February. “The internet gaming taxes more than tripled, but that’s what we expected with a full month of gaming. This means more funding for the City of Detroit, K-12 education, economic development and tribal communities.”

Little Revenue from Sports Betting

MotorCity Casino Hotel, which has FanDuel as its platform provider, collected the most bets for February 2021 with a total of $87.2M. MGM Grand Detroit, powered by BetMGM, came in second with $75.7M in total bets. The DraftKings powered Bay Mills took in $72.9M while Barstool Sports at Greektown Casino had an online handle of $40.3M last month.

Interestingly, only BetMGM posted positive receipts among the Top 3 with $5.3M in gross receipts and $2.4M in adjusted gain or $140,000 in tax payments. FanDuel reported an adjusted loss of $5.4M for February while DraftKings posted a $5.1M adjusted loss for the same month. Neither Fanduel and DaftKings reported any state tax payments for the second consecutive month.

Emerging as a Top Market

Combined with retail sports betting in casinos around the Wolverine State, Michigan sportsbooks saw a total of $325.6M in sports bets during the month of February. That’s the fifth largest total for any state for the month of February, making Michigan the 5th largest sports betting market in the United States, at least for the month.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins raved about his company’s early iGaming success in Michigan. Per Robins, Michigan’s iGaming handle per capita on Super Bowl Sunday was nearly twice the per capita handle New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia iGaming Apps for their first Super Bowl despite the three states going live for for an average of 179 days and Michigan going up for only 17 days on the average.

NHL Receives Shares in PointsBet As Part of Sports Betting Agreement

NHL PLayer Sidney Crosby
The National Hockey League received equity from online gambling operator PointsBet as part of the agreement that named the Australian-based company as the NHL’s “official sports betting partner” on Wednesday.

A total of 43,106 PointsBet ordinary shares were allocated to the NHL to sweeten the deal. The shares were priced according to a recent 20-day trading average on the Australian Securities Exchange. Using the average, the shares are valued at $500,000 but are worth over $531,000 according to Tuesday’s closing price. According to the filing, the shares will be distributed in equal parts after 12, 36, and 48 months.

Both Companies Entwined With NBC

As its official sports betting partner, PointsBet will be authorized to use the official NHL league and team logos in its online sports betting app and marketing materials. PointsBet content will now be featured during NBC’s broadcast of NHL games.

The deal will be enhanced by the existing partnership between the league and NBC. Currently, the NHL has a ten-year broadcasting contract with NBC worth $2B. That deal expires after the 2020-21 NHL season but NBC is looking to renew the partnership “for a long time to come”. Meanwhile, PointsBet recently entered into a $500M deal to become NBC’s exclusive betting partner.

Not the First Betting Partner

The NHL opposed the legalization of sports betting for decades but the PointsBet deal isn’t the first of its kind for the North American professional ice hockey league. FanDuel, William Hill, and MGM have partnered with the NHL in the past.

The NHL is also an investor in DraftKings as it acquired shares of the company back when it was still just a private fantasy sports company. In August 2020, Sportico reported that the league also agreed to a data partnership with Sportradar in a deal that is also believed to involve equity.

BetMGM, BetRivers Go Live in Virginia

State of Virginia Made out of Money With Sportsbook Background
Online sports bettors in Virginia now have four operators to choose from.

FanDuel was the first to launch in Virginia last Thursday. DraftKings followed on Sunday, just hours before the NFL’s Conference championship games. This week, two more online sportsbooks followed with BetMGM and BetRivers launching on Wednesday, just in time for next weekend’s Super Bowl LV game.

When Virginia sports betting was legalized, the state agreed to cap the number of sports betting operators to 12 after receiving a total of 25 applications for license. The General Assembly tasked the Virginia Lottery to screen the applicants and with four already live, that means there are 8 on the way.

Third Virginia Sports Betting Operator

BetMGM became the third Virginia sports betting operator after getting its temporary permit to accept wagers last Sunday. The operator, which is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain Plc. now has presence in a total of 12 states, including 10 with online sportsbooks. As part of its latest offering, Virginia bettors will get access to the MGM Resorts M Life Rewards Program.

The Roar Digital operated sportsbook recently announced a partnership with Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. The partners plan to open a retail sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

Partnership With Rivers Casino

BetRivers meanwhile, received approval to launch Virginia sports betting on Tuesday. After going live on Wednesday, BetRivers now has a total of 8 mobile states. The company has a deal for market access via a new casino which Portsmouth voters approved in last November’s vote. BetRivers is one of three operators partnered with a Virginia casino.

Caesars/William Hill (Danville) and Hard Rock (Bristol) are the other two Virginia sports betting operators partnered with a casino. When all is said and done, the state will have a total of five land-based casinos. However, the cities of Norfolk and Richmond, who have sold land and have agreed to let the Pamunkey Indian Tribe build and operate a casino, have not yet announced the names of the would be operators.