Super Bowl LVII will soon close the book on the 2022-23 NFL season in terms of action on the field. The story of the season in terms of the league’s finances is still coming together though, with details like NFL sports betting revenue figuring in.
According to a SponsorUnited analysis, the NFL’s 32 franchises combined to pull in 40% more money from sports betting deals in 2022. Whether that segment of the business will continue to grow in 2023 is complicated, however.
NFL sports betting deals get more lucrative
To be clear, this was a review of partnerships between sportsbooks and individual NFL teams, not the league itself. The NFL does have its own partnerships with Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. However, the disparate franchises are free to make their own sponsorship deals.
A press release from SponsorUnited points to a 40% uptick for such sponsorships compared to 2021. SponsorUnited says “more than 25 NFL teams now have at least one” daily fantasy contest or sports betting sponsor.
These deals vary in their terms based on local regulations. In some places, the gambling partner actually operates a physical sportsbook in or near the NFL team’s stadium. In others, the partner merely get some ad placement during games. There are other situations between those two extremes as well.
Expansion and legalization were behind that growth. In 2022, physical and/or online legal sportsbooks launched in Kansas, Maryland, and New York. Additionally, Ohio and Massachusetts enacted legislation to join that crowd.
As a result, more NFL franchises inked sportsbook partner deals. Those teams included the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, and Washington Commanders. In the Commanders’ case, they were able to double-dip. The regulatory systems in both Maryland and Virginia allowed them to get in on the action. For that reason, they closed on sponsor deals relevant to both states.
While that factor boosted this revenue source in 2022, it could be the reason 2023 sees less growth. Prospects for expansion don’t look as promising.
Map doesn’t look as tantalizing in 2023
The contenders for possible sports betting legalization in 2023 aren’t as convenient for NFL teams. Among states currently considering sports betting measures that have NFL teams playing within their borders are Georgia, Missouri, and Texas. Minnesota and North Carolina are also likely destinations for debate on the topic as well.
However, the legalization of sports betting in any of those states is no sure thing this year. In both Georgia and Texas, legalization could come via the constitutional amendment route. That would require approval from the states’ voters. Such a vote, if it does occur, would not happen until November 2024.
In both Minnesota and Missouri, factional interests could stymie progress. Minnesota tribal casinos want exclusivity over legal sports betting. In Missouri, the issue of concurrent video lottery terminal regulation is an obstacle again.
Online sportsbooks in Massachusetts should go live in March. However, that could be the only state sportsbook launch left to occur in 2023. If that proves true, NFL sports betting revenue likely won’t expand much in 2023.