Sports gambling has existed for decades, but nobody thought it would become a mainstream activity through a national sports league. Some states have made inroads in offering legal sportsbooks. For instance, Oregon offers sports gambling through the state lottery.
A decade ago, though, nobody would’ve thought the NFL would offer on-site sports betting for football games. Now they’re finally opening up to it, albeit only in selected NFL stadiums. Will it generate more interest in the NFL or lead to trouble? Here’s what you need to know.
NFL sports gambling will have designated lounges
Before getting too excited about betting windows being available in NFL stadiums, keep in mind the league isn’t allowing any of this yet. They also still ban retail sportsbooks from being within any NFL stadium grounds.
In states where sports gambling is legal, select stadiums will now offer private betting lounges. Consider these almost like bars where people can hang out and bet money without doing so in front of everyone. They’re also away from kids who might get the wrong idea.
According to ESPN, this will also include mobile options for off-site bettors. This means those who want to bet on games don’t even have to show up to participate. However, none of this is completely official yet. The biggest question is how far they’ll let it evolve and whether other sports leagues will follow.
Sportsbook sponsors will be a first
Anyone who’s attended a major league game in a stadium has probably seen casino sponsorship advertising. It’s been a practice for a while, but with no sportsbook promoting allowed.
Such a practice was upheld until recently when the NFL announced it would allow sportsbook sponsors for the first time. Even this will have limitations. Some signage will appear in stadiums in designated areas. They won’t be allowed in the lower levels where families often sit.
Sponsors must also have their name up front so it’s clear there’s a sponsorship involved. Clearly, the NFL is taking the gambling route slowly to avoid misunderstandings and contain it to specified areas.
Despite the circumspect aspect to it all, it’ll likely be successful. Those interested in betting can do so privately without being exposed. What this portends for gambling addition, though, is yet to be determined.
Will other major leagues move into sports gambling soon?
Having the NFL so adamant about the progression of sports betting seems to set an inevitable precedent. Other major sports leagues may follow in their footsteps in the future.
MLB has strongly considered doing the same with trepidation about what it could do to its reputation. So far, only two states allow people to bet on MLB games from home.
They’re just one league seeking to advance sports betting and create more engagement among sports fans. The NFL going there first will likely make both participation in games and concerns about gambling addiction increase exponentially.
Since that’s still a real problem, other safeguards may need to exist to ensure betting is done responsibly and not abused.
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