NFL Softens Stance Against Casino Advertising
Casinos With Sports Books Still Prohibited
The National Football League recently softened their stance against casinos, telling all 32 teams that it is now acceptable to display local casino advertising in their stadiums, game programs and radio broadcasts, as long as the casino does not have a sports book.
Previously, teams had been allowed to accept advertising dollars from racinos, lotteries and even the city of Las Vegas, but casinos themselves were excluded. Now, those restrictions have been lifted, allowing NFL teams to capitalize on millions in additional revenue.
“We remain steadfast in our opposition to the proliferation of gambling on NFL games,” said league spokesman Brian McCarthy. “There is a distinction between accepting advertising in a limited fashion and gambling on the outcome of our games.”
In order to comply with new regulations, a casino ad must include a responsible gambling message and the casino cannot use any NFL or team logos in their marketing packages. Additionally, any banners displayed in the stadium must be located on the upper bowl, presumably to stay out of a television camera’s line of sight during broadcasts.
Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn is currently seeking a Massachusetts gaming license to build a property adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, home of the New England Patriots. The land may be leased from Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have accepted casino ads for years and are much more lenient with their restrictions. The National Basketball Association, though firmly against sports betting, held their annual All-Star game in Las Vegas.
The Women’s National Basketball Association has even gone so far as to include casino ads on their players’ jerseys. One team even plays their home games in Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino.
The teams who stand to gain the most from this decision are located in the North East, where a high concentration of casinos without sports books exist. Franchises such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, and even the Minnesota Vikings, could all see a revenue boost of up to $6 million each season.
In 2006, the NFL worked closely with lobbyist Eric Holder, who worked to push through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). In 2009, the league hired lobbyist Jeff Miller to ensure that the ban on internet gambling was upheld.
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