NFL set for $2.3bn annual windfall from sports betting regulation

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The American Gaming Association has predicted the regulated US sports betting market could boost NFL annual revenue by up to $2.3bn, following a review into the future of the industry by Nielsen Sports.

The study, commissioned by the association to assess the profitability of sports betting, states that media and sponsorship deals could significantly enhance the league’s takings.

“So much time has been spent on talk over integrity fees,” said Sara Slane, senior VP of public affairs for the AGA.

“These numbers are conservative, and show that the league is frankly tripping over dollars to pick up pennies.”

The report evaluated the impact of sponsorship agreements and data provision partnerships, as well as the projected rise in media consumption and branded content licences.

By embracing the new stream of revenue, the NFL could expect to increase the figure generated through media rights, sponsorships, merchandise and ticket sales by 13.4 percent, up to $1.75bn.

The survey of 1,000 sports fans also predicted the contribution to the NFL from engaging with sports betting operators and data providers would provide an additional $573m.

Though long-opposed to gambling, the NFL has recently begun to relax its stance, with the league’s Business Ventures Committee granting permission this month for land-based casino operators to sponsor team franchises during 2018/19 games.

Casino partners will not be able to use the agreements to advertise related sportsbook properties, nor facilitate revenue-share or wagering-oriented deals, however the brand-centric programme will see the NFL logo displayed across all advertising verticals.

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