NFL Reportedly 'Expects to Generate Roughly $270M' from Betting Deals in 2021 Season

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2021

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stands onstage during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NFL and its 32 teams reportedly expect to generate around $270 million in revenue from gambling deals during the 2021 season, and that number could explode in the coming years.

Ben Strauss and Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported Wednesday the league expects its "aggressive" effort to form partnerships in the sports-betting marketplace will pay off.

"You can definitely see the market growing to $1 billion-plus of league opportunity over this decade," Christopher Halpin, the NFL's chief strategy and growth officer, told the Post.

Halpin explained the league's view of gambling started to change after a Supreme Court ruling in May 2018, which overturned a 1992 federal law that banned sports betting in most states. The NFL felt more comfortable with legalized wagers within the United States as opposed to the prior options.

"At the end of the day, you'd much rather, if someone is going to bet, have it be in a legal, regulated market as a sport than done offshore," Halpin told Strauss and Maske.

So far, 20 states have passed laws allowing for legal sports betting and another nine are in the process of finalizing laws and launching the market, according to the Legal Sports Report.

In turn, the topic of gambling is no longer taboo within the American sports marketplace as there are daily television shows dedicated to betting talk and game lines are openly discussed on pregame shows.

Halpin told the Washington Post the league still aims to strike a balance between the gambling-minded fan and a supporter who wants to enjoy a game without being bombarded by lines and over/unders.

"For adult fans who want to bet in legal markets on sports, have products and partners that serve them best in class and advance their experience," Halpin said. "And on the flip side, don't alienate the fan like my mother who doesn't want sports betting in her national CBS broadcast."

It's a new revenue stream that also comes at a perfect time for the NFL, which is trying to overcome the estimated $4 billion drop in revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 season is scheduled to kick off Sept. 9 when the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys.