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NFL Partners with Caesars as First Official Casino Sponsor

Carl Zee for Bookies.com

Carl Zee  | 3 mins

NFL Partners with Caesars as First Official Casino Sponsor

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The NFL and Caesars have agreed to a partnership that sees Caesars named the official casino sponsor of the NFL.

Fans of NFL betting might be pleased with the new direction, though the partnership, according to the NFL’s press release, applies to casino related things only. The partnership does not include sports betting, daily fantasy, or resorts and hotels. Despite that, Caesars will be able to say they’re the first casino partner with the NFL in an age that’s seeing gambling becoming more and more prevalent in sports.

Renie Anderson, Senior Vice President of NFL Partnerships, Sponsorship, and Consumer Products:

"We couldn't be more excited to work with one of the world's largest gaming and entertainment companies. Combining the NFL with Caesars' expertise in world class entertainment will provide our fans unique experiences both here in the United States and abroad."

Almost THE Crown Jewel

The partnership with the NFL is a huge accomplishment for Caesars regardless of the sportsbook restrictions. The US gambling giant will get exclusive rights to use the NFL trademarks in the US and UK to promote their casinos specifically.

Another little gem in the NFL’s press release revealed that Caesars will have an active role in part of the 2020 NFL Draft. What those roles are is currently unspecified, but they will “host elements of the 2020 Draft in coordination with the City of Las Vegas to help create this historic event.”

NFL Partners with Caesars as First Official Casino Sponsor 1
The NFL Draft is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas before the Raiders play their inaugural season in the city.

The one thing that holds the deal back from being a true coup is that it doesn’t allow Caesars to use the NFL name to promote their sportsbook. Despite the NFL relaxing their anti-gambling stance recently, the league drew the line at actually allowing a gambling company to use the NFL name for their sportsbook.

However, the partnership is still a landmark one for the league, as it shows that the NFL is willing to recognize that gambling will exist whether the league likes it or not. With the biggest American sports event of the year looming, the NFL and gambling companies alike can expect Super Bowl betting to be the heaviest it's ever been.

The Quick Embrace of Gambling

With the lifting of the federal ban on sports betting, American sports leagues have been faced with the ultimatum to accept the changing world and begin partnering or lose out on a significant new profit stream.

The NBA was the first to embrace the change, partnering with MGM just two months after the federal repeal of PASPA. Several leagues have followed suit, such as the NHL in October, joining the NBA in partnering with MGM. The MLB fell to MGM just one month later.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver wasted no time in partnering with a gambling company.

The NFL is the only league not to partner with MGM so far, and the MLS remains a free agent, as it were. The notable difference, however, is that the NBA, NHL, and MLB both allow MGM access to data to help the MGM sports betting products. It’s possible that the NFL will revisit the issue over the upcoming offseason.

The first sign that the NFL was relaxing their stance on sports betting came in September when the NFL allowed the Cowboys to partner with WinStar World Casino to create the first official casino partnership in the NFL. Since then, it’s been open season on the rest of the league. Caesars themselves have partnered with the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders, and Philadelphia Eagles.

About the Author

Carl Zee began covering sports through the SB Nation page The Daily Stampede, where he still covers USF soccer.