NFL Owners Greenlight Keeping Stadium Sportsbooks Operating During Games

NFL owners granted a plan Tuesday that allows for in-stadium sportsbooks to stay open while games are played at those venues.

The Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, saw NFL owners cast their ballot in favor of in-stadium sportsbooks to stay open on game days. (Image: )

The decision is another step in the league’s speedy transition from an anti-gaming attitude to a more comprehensive acceptance of the sports wagering industry. Currently, only the Washington Commanders have a sportsbook inside their home arena, while the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants and Jets have betting locations outside.

The Athletic reported the news yesterday, based on unnamed sources knowledgeable about the matter. The specifics of the vote by the 32 owners were not revealed.

It is believed that teams that choose to keep their in-stadium sportsbooks open on game day will be able to keep all of the revenue generated up to $20 million. Anything beyond this amount will be subject to the league’s revenue-sharing policies.

Half of NFL Teams Could Benefit

Sports betting is now legal in 33 states and Washington, DC. Of these, 15 states and the nation’s capital are homes to NFL teams.

Eight teams, or a quarter of the league, are located in California, Texas, or Florida, meaning there is little chance that the seven applicable stadiums (the Los Angeles teams share a venue) will be homes to sportsbooks in the near future. It remains to be seen how states such as Washington State and Wisconsin, where sports wagering is only allowed on tribal casino grounds, will handle the presence of sportsbooks in NFL parks, or if it will be addressed at all.

Under the NFL’s new resolution, in-stadium sportsbooks are accepted in venues located in states where sports wagering is now authorized.

How the issue is handled in tribal gaming-dominated states is yet to be determined. The NFL has seven official sportsbook partners: BetMGM, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDue, FOX Bet, PointsBet, and WynnBET. Fanatics recently received approval to operate a retail sportsbook at the Washington Commanders’ FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Revenue Share Likely Key in Vote

Given that sports wagering is not yet legal in a number of the states with NFL teams, the revenue sharing component of the vote for sportsbooks may have been essential to its passage.

“As bets will be placed not only on the home team – and since there is an equity concern that teams in states that continue to prohibit sports gambling will be at a disadvantage – revenue from sportsbooks above a certain threshold of income will be shared, unlike most forms of non-national revenue (Sponsorships, etc.) that teams have,” reports CBS Sports.

The league has not released details on the process for teams to bid on contracts to operate in-stadium retail sportsbooks. It is expected to be highly competitive in major sports wagering markets, including Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, among others.