In a nutshell, official betting is the legal betting on your favorite team. It’s also the newest way for sportsbooks to make a buck. The NFL has been testing the waters and is now in a prime position to cash in.
The NFL has forged partnerships with gaming operators to bring in-game betting to the forefront. Several states have legalized betting, including Illinois, where sports fans can bet on their favorite teams on mobile devices.
Sports betting is expected to be a $2.5 billion industry in the U.S. and the NFL expects to earn about $270 million in revenue this year. However, the legalization of sports gambling is not the end all, be all. Rather, it’s the beginning of a new era of betting, which will include a host of other wagering options.
As the NFL moves toward making the transition from sports league to gaming partner, it’s taking a number of steps to protect itself from corruption and to provide its players with the training they need to make gambling decisions. Some of these steps include adding free-play games and incorporating odds into game broadcasts.
In addition to sponsoring betting lounges at select stadiums, the NFL has teamed with an analytics firm to gather data to better understand the habits and preferences of its fans. This information will be used to enhance and create betting content.
One example is an online contest with studio analyst Terry Bradshaw. Fans can enter for a chance to win up to $1,000,000 in cash. A similar promotion was offered last year by ESPN Plus.