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In the last year or so the NFL has eased up on its stance on sports betting. Now, there is a good chance that for the upcoming NFL season there will be betting lounges at MetLife Stadium, where the New York Giants and New York Jets are based. However, don’t look for betting windows at the stadium, as those are still prohibited.
It was not far back when sports betting was taboo for the NFL. However, wagering was mentioned several times in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was recently approved by the NFL Players Association.
The recent change in policy will likely give some leeway for a company such as 888 Holdings. The online poker, sportsbook, and casino operator furthered its existing partnership with the Jets last year, although that deal includes only the 888 Casino brand.
Yaniv Sherman, who is the head of commercial development at 888, spoke recently about the new change in NFL betting policy. He stated, “I think that’s their next logical step, the NFL allowing sportsbooks or the association of sports betting with the franchises. So it has definitely created more interest and more potential affiliation between a company like ourselves and NFL franchises.”
In moving forward the two sides have the offseason in order to discuss the issue. Sherman stated that the Jets have been a solid partner and that partnership has helped increase the brand presence of 888. The Jets may be taking the lead since other states in the US are following the New Jersey blueprint.
“There are other opportunities out there now that we are looking at additional states. There is an NFL franchise in almost every relevant market that we are looking into, so it creates also a (number) of possibilities for other states,” Sherman said.
Some of those states are Indiana, Tennessee, and Michigan, where sports betting is live or will be live in the near future.
In New Jersey, 888 does not need to start from the beginning. Behind closed doors, there have been talks about the addition of an 888 Sport betting lounge at MetLife Stadium.
Last season 888 had some activation events outside of MetLife Stadium. With the majority of New Jersey sportsbook revenue being taken in from mobile betting apps, it will not scuttle the deal if there are no betting windows available at the venue.
In January of this year bettors in New Jersey wagered $540.1 million on sports. Of that amount, $471.1 million came from wagers made online. That total for the month surpassed the sports betting handle for Nevada.
“The distinction between a sports bar and a betting lounge is, at the end of the day, people in New Jersey all bet on their mobile devices. So, if you create a mobile sports betting lounge, by construction, there will be betting activity there,” Sherman said.
“It creates a very good opportunity for consistency. You don’t need to create a retail destination at least in New Jersey to offer sports betting. That is one of the main reasons why New Jersey is so successful as a betting market.”