The NFL’s Move to Sports Betting

In the past, many sports leagues tried to keep gambling off the field. They feared it would lead to more attempts to fix games for money. But in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional and states could legalize sports betting. That changed everything. We asked ESPN columnist David Purdum about the impact.

ROTT: The NFL had been pushing back against the whole idea of sports betting, saying it was going to hurt the integrity of their games – and they fought it all the way up to the Supreme Court. But once that decision came down, they completely pivoted and now they’re embracing it in a big way, partnering with the major betting sites – DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars – even opening sportsbooks inside their stadiums.

Iowa passed legislation to allow sports betting in 2019 and launched retail and online sportsbooks that year. Its sportsbook brands include BetMGM, PointsBet, DraftKings, and FanDuel. It allows bettors to place wagers on both professional and college sports. In-state collegiate game results can be bet on but player prop bets are prohibited.

Massachusetts legalized sports betting in 2023, with ten sportsbooks licensed for the market. The brands that received licenses are ESPN BET, BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars. There’s also a sportsbook at Gillette Stadium that’s open on NFL game days. Online sports betting went live in November 2022. Maine legalized sports betting in December 2021 and the first retail and mobile sportsbooks launched in March of the following year.