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Volume 25 No. 66
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NFL Committee OKs Casinos With Sportsbooks As Sponsors

A committee of NFL owners has cleared the way for teams to sell sponsorships to casinos that operate sportsbooks, though the casinos will not be allowed to promote the sportsbooks directly in their advertising. A team source said the league’s business ventures committee agreed to relax league rules prohibiting sportsbook-connected sponsorship during a conference call on Monday. An NFL spokesperson declined comment. Casinos will not be able to promote the sportsbooks directly, but teams will be able to accept advertising from casinos and daily fantasy sites that operate sportsbooks in shoulder programming and during preseason game telecasts. Teams and casinos also will be able to use each others’ logos in their advertising and promotions. But teams will be prohibited from accepting revenue shares for driving business to casinos and gambling web sites. Teams also will be cleared to sell stadium naming rights to casinos, a consideration mostly in play for the Las Vegas-bound Raiders. Some NFL teams have found nuanced ways to conduct business with casinos in recent years, but the league clearly prohibited relationships with the Las Vegas properties that hosted sportsbooks. That policy became increasingly unpopular with NFL teams once the Supreme Court cleared the way for any state to allow sports betting with its ruling in May. Thus far, only two NFL franchises -- the Giants and Jets -- play their home games in a state that has legalized and regulated sports betting. But Pennsylvania likely will open its betting windows during the season, and Mississippi and West Virginia both have sportsbooks close enough to NFL markets to make team sponsorships attractive.