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NFL Chooses Caesars Entertainment For First Casino Partnership

$30 Million Annual Deal Does Not Include Sports Betting

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The National Football League (NFL) was the last holdout of the major sports leagues to not get into bed with the gambling world, but it appears as though the league’s attitude towards gaming might be evolving.

The NFL has announced a multi-year deal with Caesars Entertainment, making the Las Vegas-based company the league’s first casino partner.

The deal, which will see Caesars pay about $30 million annually, does not include sports betting or statistical data. Instead, Caesars can now use NFL trademarked materials to promote their casinos both in the U.S. and in the U.K.

“All of us at Caesars Entertainment are thrilled to be the first-ever casino partner of the NFL, the most prominent sports league in North America,” Caesars Entertainment CEO Mark Frissora said in a press release. “Combining the league’s 180 million fans with our 55 million Total Rewards loyalty program members will expose millions of people to the exclusive and exciting year-round opportunities at our properties.”

The NFL is taking a cautious approach to sports betting in the wake of a new federal bill that seeks governmental control over the industry. If passed, the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018 would require that sports gambling operators use official league-provided data.

“We’re not rushing into anything,” NFL Senior Vice President of Sponsorship Renie Anderson told Bloomberg. “We’ll continue to look at the industry as it evolves but it still has a lot of evolving to do.”

While the other three major sports leagues, the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Basketball Association (NBA) all made league-wide deals with MGM Resorts International, casino partnerships were previously limited to individual NFL teams.

Caesars has already made deals with seven franchises including the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, and the yet-to-play Las Vegas Raiders.

Other NFL franchises that have teamed up with casino companies include the Dallas Cowboys with WinStar World Casino, the New York Jets with MGM Resorts, and the Seattle Seahawks with the Snoqualmie Casino.