BetMGM, FOX Bet, Two Others Becoming NFL-Approved Sportsbook Operators

Posted on: August 30, 2021, 09:08h. 

Last updated on: August 30, 2021, 11:39h.

Today, the NFL struck deals with BetMGM, FOX Bet, PointsBet, and WynnBET as approved sportsbook operators for the 2021 season.

NFL sportsbook
Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones attempts a pass in a preseason game Sunday. The NFL today approved four gaming companies as official sportsbook operators. (Image: NBC Sports)

Financial terms of the agreements weren’t disclosed, but the gaming firms are paying the NFL for the privilege. The companies are eligible to advertise during games, but they don’t get access to league or team logos, marks, and related fare.

Today’s news arrives just days after a league executive said the NFL will derive $270 million in revenue this year from gaming-related accords. He noted that figure could swell to $1 billion over the current decade.

BetMGM, FOX Bet, PointsBet, and WynnBET join Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel in landing NFL-approved sportsbook operator status. Those latter three companies landed those accords in April. As part of that deal, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel received rights to use NFL logos in their sports betting category, as well as secure premium NFL advertising during games and ancillary programming.

Under league rules, there can be a maximum of six gambling advertisements per game. By some estimates, the average NFL television broadcast lasts more than three hours and features around 100 commercials.

In New Deals, NFL Media Ties Play Roles

Of the four newly approved sportsbook operators, two — FOX Bet and PointsBet — already have ties to a pair of the NFL’s major media partners.

Earlier this year, Fox Corp. noted FOX Bet could become an approved NFL sportsbook operator. That could give the media giant some leverage in its contentious wranglings with FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment. The Irish gaming company controls FOX Bet and previously said that should a spin-off of a FanDuel occur, FOX Bet won’t be included in that transaction.

Recently, Flutter CEO Peter Jackson called FOX Bet a “struggling” enterprise. But that could change with some added cache as an NFL sportsbook operator. Fox usually broadcasts two NFL games each week, including America’s Game of the Week.

Last year, Australia-based PointsBet reach an almost $500 million deal with Comcast’s NBC Sports to become the broadcaster’s official sports betting partner. NBC broadcasts Sunday Night Football.

Wins for Other Companies, Too

For BetMGM, the NFL pact could serve as another avenue to gain market share. As it is, the operator, which is a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Entain, is already the second-largest US sportsbook firm.

For WynnBET, the NFL deal is something of a coup, because the company is a relative upstart in sports wagering. However, it’s piecing together league agreements and market access at a rapid pace. WynnBET is live in seven states, and that number could grow over the course of the NFL season.

Sports betting data provider Genius Sports could also derive some benefit from these agreements because “all operators will also license Official League Data from the League’s Official Data provider, Genius Sports,” said the NFL.

The league owns a 4.5 percent equity stake in Genius.