In another sign of changing times, the NFL reached agreements with BetMGM, FOX Bet, PointsBet and WynnBet to become approved sportsbook operators for the upcoming season, the league announced Monday. BetMGM is a Yahoo Sports partner.
The league's relationship with legal betting has taken big leaps in recent years following decades of the cold shoulder and overall resistance. The agreements announced Monday allow the four operators to purchase in-game commercial units and other select NFL media inventory.
"We are pleased to announce this select group as Approved Sportsbook Operators," Nana-Yaw Asamoah, Vice President of Business Development for the NFL, said in a league release. "Along with our three Official Sports Betting Partners, this group of operators will help the League to engage fans in responsible and innovative ways this season as the sports betting landscape continues to evolve."
They join three other operators for a total of seven approved sports book in the NFL. All can secure premium advertising in-game and around other NFL programming. No other sportsbook is allowed to do so.
The NFL announced Caesars Entertainment as its first-ever official casino sponsorship in January. At first it did not include betting, but in April the league included the company alongside DraftKings and FanDuel as approved sportsbook operators. They are "tri-exclusive" partners who signed five-year deals and have the right to include betting content directly into NFL Media properties. The three are "Official Sports Betting Partners," rather than simply approved operators.
NFL moves away from anti-betting stance
The NFL continues to leave behind its stance against legal betting, particularly following the Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas. The league pushed back on betting and initially resisted legislation that allowed states to decide on legal sports betting, citing the integrity of games.
It made sure to include that line in its release while explaining how this move will still protect that moving forward.
In support of the NFL's commitment to protect the integrity of the game and its fans, all operators have agreed to adhere to the NFL's core integrity policies, collaborate with the NFL on information sharing and advocacy efforts and support the NFL's responsible gambling efforts. All operators will also license Official League Data from the League's Official Data provider, Genius Sports.
The first movement was teams entering partnerships with casinos — Caesars did so with the Raiders in 2018, while the stadium was still under construction. MGM announced a partnership with the New York Jets around that time as well.
Less than three full years later, the NFL is deep in the betting scene.