NFL to Vote on Allowing Casinos Without Sports Books to Advertise in Stadiums


National Football League (NFL) owners may vote as early as this week on whether to allow casinos without sports books to advertise in stadiums, team publications and on club radio broadcasts, reported Daniel Kaplan for Sports Business Journal Daily.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL stakeholders will discuss changing the current policy this week at the league's annual owners meeting, March 26-30, in Palm Beach, Florida, reported The New York Post.

According to Mike Florio for NBC Sports, the "process is driven by the perception that some teams have been selling ad space to Native American tribes who own nearby casinos. So an advertisement for the tribe is, in a roundabout way, an advertisement for the casino."

According to Kaplan, the Sycuan Tribe sponsors the San Diego Chargers, the Oneida Nation sponsors the Green Bay Packers, and the Gila River Indian Community sponsors the Arizona Cardinals. Previously, the Miccosukee Tribe sponsored the Miami Dolphins.

Permitting casino advertising would be a major change for the league, which for years has strongly opposed any relations with the gambling industry for fear it would be viewed as condoning sports wagering, The Post reported. For instance, in 2003, the NFL refused to allow the Las Vegas tourism slogan “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" to air during the Super Bowl. The Post said the NFL also reportedly would not let NBC advertise for a show called "Las Vegas" during "Sunday Night Football."

“It would be precedent-setting for sure,” Frank Vuono, a partner at 16W Marketing, told The Post. “The NFL has been adamant about integrity of the game.”

If the NFL gives casino advertising in NFL stadiums and other league-sponsored materials and outlets the green light, it will join the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball in accepting casino advertising.

Adding casino advertising could pull in millions of dollars for NFL teams—$2 million for some and $5 million for others, according to Vuono.

The NFL's consideration to allow casino advertising is coincidentally timed with Brett Favre’s brother, Jeff Favre, assuming a new role as the director of gaming at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester, West Virginia, according to another NBC Sports blog post.