It’s not a secret that the NFL is getting ready to make the leap into official betting. The league’s top officials have spoken to governing bodies, sportsbooks, and gaming operators to find out the best ways to navigate the new law.
In mid-2017, the NFL saw a looming Supreme Court decision on whether to allow wagering on the games of professional sports teams. For the past few years, the league has been conducting research into the potential legalities of such betting. They found that the majority of illegal betting occurred on mobile devices. Additionally, they found that fans didn’t want to see betting kiosks in stadiums. So they asked what legislation was needed to protect them.
As part of their research, the NFL conducted a survey that found that fans were most interested in a sportsbook app. These apps would be offered for free, and users could place wagers and receive refunds on them. That way, fans would have the convenience of betting on the go.
In April, the NFL announced that it had secured partnerships with sportsbooks to sponsor games. The league expects to generate $270 million in revenue this year. Sportsbooks will be allowed to promote in-stadium betting lounges, and can sell commercials on their own or in conjunction with league-approved sportsbooks. However, the NFL also plans to prohibit insider betting.
Ultimately, the NFL concluded that ideal sports gambling legislation would include substantive licensing requirements and clear markets. This would ensure that the law is in the interest of consumers, while also protecting leagues and teams from corruption. And to ensure that the market is open, the NFL would restrict betting to teams and venues in states that already had legalized it.
Meanwhile, the UFC announced a new conduct policy that prohibits coaches and athletes from gambling on fights, and prohibits their families from placing wagers on the same events. The organization also signed an agreement with DraftKings, which will become the official betting partner of the UFC.
Earlier this month, the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Commission approved the qualifications of 10 applicants for online and mobile sports betting licenses. As part of the process, the regulators also approved a number of sports betting sites. Each site offers different bonuses and markets. Some offer a special deposit match deal, while others offer frequent odds boosts. There are even a few Maryland sports betting sites that are risk free. All in all, the market is ready to be tapped into.
While there’s still a long way to go before the NFL’s official betting system becomes widely available, it’s now safe to say that we’ll be seeing the first legalized NFL sportsbooks in the near future. With this shift, cord cutting has had an impact on business models.
Today, seven sportsbooks went live in Maryland. Some of the top sites are offering free bets or welcome bonuses, along with odds boosts to help you start off with a bang.