The NFL once opposed legal sports betting in the US. The league was concerned with protecting the integrity of the games. Once the US Supreme Court gave individual states the right to govern and regulate sports betting, the biggest betting league in the country changed its tune.
Over the past few years, the NFL has added a number of US-based sportsbook operators as official sports betting partners. Individual teams have signed similar deals to bring in extra revenue.Jump to
The NFL “Slots” Experience
Thinking out of the box, the league has recently added Aristocrat Gaming as its latest strategic partner. The NFL signed a multi-year licensing agreement with the gaming development giant. The primary licensed product will be slot machines.
The official tagline for this collaboration is “Every Play is an Experience, the Playbook has Changed.”
NFL-branded slots are expected to hit casino floors in time for the 2023 season. These Aristocrat slots will give football fans the chance to customize their gaming experience.
As part of an official league statement, this new venture provides “an opportunity to further drive fan engagement through a new gaming experience.”
The Revenue Gains Outweighs the Gambling Concerns
Back in 1946 during the NFL Championship Game, two Chicago Bears’ players took bribes to throw the game. This is probably when the seeds of distrust in gambling on the games took root.
The state of New Jersey led the fight for legal sports betting starting all the way back in 2012. That court case against the federal government, NFL, NCAA, and other professional sports leagues worked its way through the court system for six years. Finally, the country’s highest court put everything to rest.
The result has been a legal US sports betting industry that has exploded over the past three and a half years. By the end of 2021, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia will offer legal betting on sports in some form.
The financial benefit to the NFL will total more than $270 million in revenue. The primary source is various agreements with casino gaming companies and sportsbook operators.
Branching Out With Aristocrat Gaming
This new partnership with Aristocrat takes the NFL in a whole new direction when it comes to legal gaming.
As a gaming industry leader based in Australia, Aristocrat will have an exclusive license to build land-based slot machines using the NFL logo and trademark. The company will also have a non-exclusive license to develop virtual games.
This is the first deal of its kind for the NFL. The wording of the agreement does leave the door open for further expansion into the realm of iGaming. The goal is to enhance the gaming experience for NFL fans while also providing an immersive environment for playing slots.
As the entire casino gaming industry evolves, Aristocrat has a chance to use its innovative skills in the development of these NFL-themed slots. The global reach of both the NFL and Aristocrat enhances the entire partnership.