Coming off a year which saw the National Football League lose roughly $4 billion in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is counting on a return to normalcy for the 2021 season.
In addition to sold-out stadiums and record-setting revenue from TV contracts, significant money will also be made from legalized sports betting.
The NFL announced deals with 4 sportsbook operators — FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet & WynnBET — just months after partnering with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel. And in Jan., the WFT became the 1st team to get a sports betting license.
From last week: https://t.co/Ydl8M0NOzA
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 30, 2021
Even in a pandemic, the NFL did fairly well in 2020 by generating $10 billion in revenue. That came in a year where a majority of regular-season games were played in empty stadiums. Clubs lost out on game day sales.
This all resulted in an unprecedented drop in the 2021 salary cap, but many around the league expected it to be a one-year drop.
Thanks to new TV rights contracts worth $100-plus billion and the return of fans to seats, revenue was already expected to soar in 2021.
Now, thanks to the legalization of sports betting, even more money could be generated this year.
Based on league-wide projections, the NFL is set to generate approximately $270 million in revenue through gambling deals this upcoming season.
Even better for players and clubs, that number might be much higher in years to come.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 federal law, opening the door for legalized sports betting.
As soon as that happened, the NFL began aggressively making plans to be heavily involved in the action.
Following, prolonged negotiations, the NFL announced an exclusive agreement with Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings as its official sports-betting partners.
— Trade the journey (@JourneyTrade) April 16, 2021
On Monday, the league reached agreements with FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET to become Approved Sportsbook Operators for the 2021 NFL season.
League officials now have every reason to believe the revenue generated from these partnerships will increase in the future.
As of this summer, 20 states have passed laws to permit legal sports betting, and several more are moving forward with similar laws.
DraftKings and SimpleBet announced a partnership to launch real-money micro-betting. Under the the terms of the deal, @DraftKings will offer Simplebet’s products for the NFL, MLB and NBA and college football at its sportsbooks #sportsbetting
— Howard Stutz (@howardstutz) August 24, 2021
Gambling isn’t the only front that could bring in new sources of money for the league. The NFL is exploring deals for its data rights, which could be worth $100-plus million.
With the 2021 season set to begin, it’s evident the league has no reason fear another financial setback this year. As a result, the salary cap will keep climbing and players’ salaries will follow suit.