N.F.L. Embraces Sports Betting As Raiders Open Las Vegas Stadium

The “Autumn Wind” can be still a Raider, however he’s no longer blustering in through the sea.

Instead, as John Facenda of N.F.L. Films might intone in his oft-heard dramatic reading of the poem synonymous with the Raiders franchise, he has taken his hooded sash in addition to silver hat in addition to moved to the desert in Las Vegas.

There, on Monday night, he in addition to his swaggering teammates defeated the completely new Orleans Saints, 34-24, within the first N.F.L. game within the city, at newly built Allegiant Stadium.

The Raiders’ arrival in Sin City can be more than just a completely new flag planted on the N.F.L.’s intercontinental map marking where games have been played. which’s also more than the unveiling of the gleaming completely new, $2 billion stadium, replete with its 85-foot carbon fiber in addition to aluminum Al Davis Memorial Torch, made through a 3-D printer. which can be the physical manifestation of a long, slow embrace between the country’s biggest sports league in addition to legal sports wagering which can be a stone’s throw through the Las Vegas Strip.

The league still has strict rules barring players, coaches in addition to league personnel through betting in addition to entering casinos, to reduce the “potential risks to the integrity” of the game. however for decades, the league also held the gambling industry at arms-length, even though football can be by far the most common sport for bettors.

Those walls have crumbled as completely new technology like cellphone apps, daily fantasy in addition to, most significantly, legal rulings undermining Las Vegas’s monopoly on sports wagering have driven sports gambling into the open.

The arrival of teams like the National Hockey League’s Golden Knights in 2017 in addition to the W.N.B.A.’s Aces in 2018 also broke the taboo against professional sports leagues operating in Las Vegas, where for years officials thought players would certainly be compromised by living in proximity to the casinos.

After having accepted sponsorships through state lotteries in addition to Native American casinos for years, the league in 2000 began promoting fantasy football games, which aren’t strictly gambling, however often involve informal wagers. About a few years ago, Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the completely new England Patriots in addition to Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, invested in daily fantasy game start-ups. Since 2007, the N.F.L. has played games in London, where fans use their mobile phones to bet on the action during the game.

At the same time, the N.F.L. joined different leagues in opposing states which were trying to overturn the law banning sports wagering, arguing which abolishing the law threatened the integrity of the game. in addition to when the Supreme Court sided with the states, the N.F.L. called on Congress to create a uniform regulatory framework for sports betting.

Then the league got to work trying to make money within the hodgepodge of states adopting gambling. Currently, 22 states in addition to the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing consumers to bet on sports.

“The Supreme Court ruling turned the spigot on,” said Daniel Wallach, a founder in addition to director of the University of completely new Hampshire School of Law’s Sports Wagering in addition to Integrity Program. “All sports gambling derives through the product the leagues put on, in addition to there’s an upside they don’t want to leave on the table. which would certainly be bad business.”

“We’re such a national sport which we’re at risk of the weakest sports book within the weakest state,” said Christopher Halpin, the chief strategy in addition to growth officer who oversees licensed sports betting at the N.F.L. “which’s very important to us which there’s just one source of truth within the data.”

Halpin said which surveys which the league has conducted show which 17 percent of N.F.L. fans are active bettors, while another 15 to 20 percent actively reject sports gambling. The key, he said, can be developing products for each basket of fans to keep them focused on the games. Industry experts say there can be a lot of potential for the number of products to grow.

“In 2020, I don’t think anyone can talk about the business of sports in addition to the business of sports wagering as opposing forces,” said Marc Edelman, a law professor who teaches classes on the gaming industry at Baruch College. “We’re in a society where gamification can be increasingly part of daily life.”

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