Brick by brick, step by step, the NFL’s former prohibition against sports betting is crumbling.
The New Orleans Saints are close to a deal to make Caesars Entertainment naming rights sponsor of the Superdome for the next two decades, according to The Athletic.
Saints owner Gayle Benson recently met with executives from the betting house in Las Vegas to finalize a deal that could pay the team $10 million annually for 20 years. Mercedes-Benz’s current 10-year naming rights deal expires in July.
“We do not have anything official to report as there is not a signed deal with any company at this time,” a Saints spokesman told The Athletic. “We continue to have conversations with numerous interested companies.”
More than any sports league, the NFL has held the gaming industry at arm’s length, not even allowing TV announcers to mention points spreads during game telecasts. But that’s changing quickly, especially since the league has lost an estimated $3- $4 billion during the pandemic.
The NFL is also talking to Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel about league-wide gambling sponsorships similar to lucrative deals signed by other sports leagues.
While announcing the NFL’s 11-year, $113 billion media rights deal, commissioner Roger Goodell said he’s looking to “find ways we can engage fans through legalized sports betting.”