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Thursday, June 4, 2020

NFL projected to make more than $2 billion a year from legalized gambling

The NFL has long been resistant to the idea of legalized sports wagering — at least when making statements in public. But privately, team owners and league executives must be licking their chops.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell on Wednesday shared some of the results of a poll Nielsen conducted regarding the future of sports gambling in the U.S. With the federal ban on sports wagering having been lifted earlier this year, Nielsen projects that the NFL could eventually stand to make around $2.3 billion in additional yearly revenue.

The projections stem from a survey of fans that indicated viewership and interest in NFL games would grow significantly with the legalization of betting across all states. Nielsen predicts that a nationwide, legal sports betting system would boost media rights fees by 18 percent, sponsorship by more than 7 percent and ticket sales by more than 6 percent. That does not include potential “integrity fees,” which would be a system where the NFL and potentially players’ union get a cut of the money wagered on games.

The report was commissioned by the American Gaming Association, which is the trade group that represents the gambling business in the U.S. Among the breakdown of where the additional revenue would come from is a projected $30 million per year in league data that would be purchased mainly by people taking part in live in-game betting.

It could be several years until the sports betting market in the U.S. fully takes shape, but several states have already legalized it now that the federal ban has been lifted. While the NFL has laid out some concerns the league feels Congress should address, we all know money can be quite the motivator. It’s hard to imagine the NFL community isn’t smiling about the future of the gambling industry behind closed doors.

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