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.
So by the time Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, got approval to move the team through Oakland in 2017, the debate by his fellow owners over a team relocating to Las Vegas was focused more on the economic benefits, not on whether gambling was a threat.
“The Raiders’ arrival can be a coming-of-age for Las Vegas as a metropolitan area in addition to for the gaming industry as well,” David Schwartz, the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “which wasn’t so long ago which the N.F.L. wouldn’t even allow the Las Vegas Convention in addition to Visitors Authority to advertise during the Super Bowl, let alone allow teams to partner with sports betting operators.”
Schwartz said sports wagering has been going increasingly mainstream since 2018, when the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional in addition to Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, which effectively banned legal sports wagering in most states.
To celebrate its arrival in Las Vegas, the N.F.L. had planned to host the draft on The Strip, however the event was canceled because of the pandemic in addition to will today be there in 2022.
Gambling has deep roots within the N.F.L., going back to its earliest years, when team owners like Charles Bidwill of the Cardinals owned racetracks. however to fight the perception which games might be fixed, the league bars players, coaches in addition to different staff through betting on games, sharing insider information or entering sports books.
N.F.L. rules also prohibit team owners through owning gambling enterprises, one reason which the Rooney family, which owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, had to divest its holdings in a horse racing track in completely new York in addition to a dog racing track in Florida which has poker tables.
The rules against players taking part in events which are at or are sponsored by casinos have also ensnared players like Tony Romo, who in 2014 was prohibited through attending a fantasy football event at a convention center attached to a casino in Las Vegas. In 2019, the league suspended Josh Shaw, an injured Arizona Cardinals defensive back, for betting on N.F.L. games. Shaw cannot apply for reinstatement until after Feb. 15, 2021.
however like different sports leagues, the N.F.L. has sought a cut of the piles of money to be made through the legalization of sports gaming.
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.”
After the federal law was overturned, the league allowed casino advertising in addition to in January 2019, the N.F.L. said which Caesars Entertainment Corp. would certainly be the league’s first-ever Official Casino Sponsor. In February, the league let teams strike sponsorship deals with sports books if gaming can be legal in their states. The Denver Broncos jumped in. Just days before the opening of Allegiant Stadium, the Raiders named BetMGM as their official sports betting partner. The league has signed deals with sports books in Australia, Germany, Latin America in addition to the United Kingdom.
Through its partner, Sportradar, the N.F.L. sells its statistics to most sports books within the country. The league has pushed states to have strong licensing requirements for sports books in addition to strong monitoring of their activities so the market can be transparent in addition to fair.
“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.”