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.

Bally’s and FanDuel Open Retail Sportsbook in Atlantic City

Ballys Atlantic City

A new retail FanDuel sportsbook opened at the Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino in New Jersey last Friday, just in time for the start of college basketball’s March Madness later this week. It is open from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. with extended hours as needed to accommodate particular sporting events.

Said George Papanier, Bally’s Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer:

“The new FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s AC is the fifth retail sportsbook we have opened in the last couple years. We now operate sportsbooks in Rhode Island, Colorado, Delaware, Mississippi, and New Jersey – we are thrilled to be in this market and to give our guests an incredible sportsbook experience, right off the boardwalk and our gaming floor.”

First FanDuel Sportsbook in Atlantic City

The venue is FanDuel’s first in Atlantic City and its second-biggest in the state after the Meadowlands Racetrack. It is located by the Northern boardwalk casino entrance and features a 25-foot-wide state of the art LED video wall which is flanked by two 10-foot LED video walls on each side with 10 video displays.

It has five betting windows and 20 IGT PlaySports self-service sports betting kiosks that accept bets on major U.S. sports, including wagers on the four major North American pro sports leagues. FanDuel will offer its proprietary risk and trading technology to leverage IGT PlaySports’ platform.

The FanDuel sportsbook at Bally’s Atlantic City has a curated food and beverage menu with a modern pub-style fare. Guests can also enjoy a wide selection of craft and local beers along with specialty cocktails.

Bally’s Partnership with FanDuel

Bally’s partnership with FanDuel began last May with the launch of an online sportsbook in Colorado. Their alliance combines Bally’s nationwide experience in casino and gaming operations with FanDuel’s expertise in the sports betting industry.

This latest venture is the 16th retail sportsbook for FanDuel in the United States. Meanwhile, Bally’s has a total of 11 owned casinos across seven states. It also owns a racetrack and 13 authorized OTB licenses in Colorado. Overall, Bally’s has a total of 13,260 slot machines, and 459 table games.

During the first week of March, Bally’s became an official sports beting partner of the NBA, marking its second partnership with a major professional sports league. The deal was a strong follow-up to its recent strategic partnership with the NHL.

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.

Flutter To Drop $4.18B For Additional 32.7% Stake in FanDuel

Hundred Dollar Bills
Flutter increased its stake in sportsbook operator FanDuel, buying 37.2% of the company for a sum of $4.18B.

The consideration is expected to be satisfied through a combination of a $2.088B cash payment and the issuance of approximately 11.7M new Flutter shares directly to Fastball. According to Flutter, the cash portion of the agreement will be funded through cash on the balance sheet and an equity placing to raise an additional 1.1B pounds.

FOX Corporation would participate in the capital raising and in return, the US-based FOX Sports , which is owned by FOX Corporation, will be given an option to buy 18.5% of FanDuel in July 2021.

Said Flutter CEO Peter Jackson in a statement:

“Flutter’s initial acquisition of a controlling stake in FanDuel in 2018 has been transformational for the shape of the Group. Our number one position in the crucial U.S. market is built on many of the assets we acquired through that transaction, supported by the broader Group’s capabilities. Our intention has always been to increase our stake in the business and I’m delighted to be able to do so earlier than originally planned and at a discount to its closest peer.”

Terminating Fastball’s Interest in FOX Bet

Flutter, which owns European iGaming properties Paddy Power, Betfair, and Poker Stars, acquired 57.8% of FanDuel in 2018. With the latest agreement, it will now own 95% of the top betting company in the United States and terminate Fastball’s economic interest in the online sports betting platform FOX Bet.

The deal would simplify the position of FOX Bet, in which Fastball was given an interest as part of Flutter’s merger with the Star Group of Canada in 2019. According to Flutter, the union created one of the largest online betting and gaming operator in the business.

Attractive American Scene

Flutter Entertainment said that this transaction will increase its exposure in the U.S. market materially. It described the American scene as the “most attractive” sector opportunity there is today.

The United States is viewed as the next big market in sports betting and it has led to big partnerships involving European companies. Last September, Caesars Entertainment purchased London-based William Hill for $3.9B.

Memphis Grizzlies Enter Into Sports Betting Partnership With FanDuel

Odds Board and Money
With sports betting now legal in Tennessee, the Memphis Grizzlies were quick to capitalize by signing its first ever sports betting deal with US online sportsbook FanDuel. On the other side of the fence, the Grizzlies are also the first NBA team that FanDuel has partnered with.

Said FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffenspberger:

“As we expand our market-leading sportsbook into Tennessee, partnering with the Grizzlies was a no-brainer given the team’s popularity and long-standing success, as well as their shared mindset of being absurdly fan-focused. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with the Grizzlies as we bring unique promotions, product innovation, and engaging online experiences to Grizzlies fans and Tennessee sports fans alike.”

For their part, the Grizzlies made a statement via President Jason Wexler:

“We are thrilled to have FanDuel as our first sports betting marketing partner and as our exclusive daily fantasy partner. Grizzlies fans are among the most passionate in the NBA, and we are looking forward to helping them find new ways to access their sports fandom. FanDuel has been an excellent partner in building a program that will showcase why they are one of the best sportsbooks for Grizzlies fans.”

Multi-Year Agreement

Under the multi-year agreement, FanDuel will get the permission to use official Grizzlies marks and logos from them to use across FanDuel’s online sports offerings and daily fantasy products. Meanwhile, FanDuel’s logo will be part of the Grizzlies’ marketing assets including the in-arena signage at the FedEx Forum. Likewise, FanDuel will be able to promote its sports betting offerings to fans directly via the Grizzlies’ radio, TV, and digital marketing platforms.

FanDuel will also present the Grizzlies’ home and away television broadcast with multiple integrations to improve the experience for the fans who choose to watch the game on television in the comfort of their homes. In addition, the Grizzlies and FanDuel plan to offer several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to FanDuels clients.

Tennessee Legal Sports Betting Goes Live

The announcement comes a day after legal Tennessee sports betting went live. Sports betting was legalized in the Volunteer state in the spring of 2019. The law took effect last November 1st without the signature of Governor Bill Lee who at that time did not believe that legal Tennessee sports betting would be of the best interest of the state.

After several months of ironing out the policies, online sports betting is now live in Tennessee. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation has so far approved four online sportsbooks to operate in the state. These are DraftKings, BetMGM, Action247, and FanDuel. Only online sports betting is currently legal in Tennessee and brick and mortar sports betting shops are not allowed.