The NFL’s recent sportsbook policy loosening has been a welcome revelation for many bookmakers around the world, seeking to capitalise on the growth of a new market by securing valuable American football advertisements.
InsiderSport spoke to international online gaming brand LeTou regarding how the NFL’s new policies can help both sides of the industry, as well as if the XFL had any influence on the organisation’s decision.
The operator’s CEO Paul Fox stated: “Everyone knows that the NFL is the most watched sport in the US and that the league has been the most anti-gambling of the major sports. American football is perfectly suited towards gambling so I think it’ll make a huge difference.
“It’s no secret that people have been finding ways to bet on it anyway since the NFL’s inception and legalising it will lead to more direct revenue for the league. Instead of trying to fight it and act like it doesn’t exist, they should embrace it which will lead to more opportunity. You’ve just got to look at all the increased income it’s brought to football in Europe.”
Fox also added that with NFL’s new policy, more of the league’s teams will be open to greater financial opportunities as another new sector has been opened up to organisations.
As per the new regulations, teams will be allowed to have official sportsbook sponsors and display signage in the stadiums, as long as the signs are not featured in the lower bowls of the grounds and include the word ‘sponsor’ in the advertisements.
The league will also allow clubs in legalised betting jurisdictions to offer betting lounges in order to showcase mobile betting options.
The competition’s decision to embrace sportsbooks ever so slightly coincides with the XFL’s recent ‘open’ approach to betting companies. However Fox believes that XFL’s influence had nothing to do with the recent changes and that it’s more America’s US betting market continuing to grow that has led to the decision.
He added: “I don’t think it had that much to do with the XFL. The NFL had seen some of the leagues like the NBA be a bit more forward thinking and with more legislation creeping in state by state in the US, it seems the tides are turning.
“The NFL has seen that it’s not the evil it was made out to be and it’s not going to corrupt the league. I think Roger Goodell, the NFL Chairman is now realising that they need to start embracing it.”
With regards to his own company, Fox feels that the market hasn’t developed enough for international betting companies, particularly in Asia, to invest in the NFL through sponsorships. Nevertheless, the fact that the topic is being discussed, underlines just how substantial the evolution of sports betting has been.