NFL’s Gambling Point Man, Commissioner-In-Waiting Leaves For Internet Firm

Written By Brant James on January 7, 2022 - Last Updated on January 28, 2022

Chris Halpin, who was long considered the eventual successor to commissioner Roger Goodell and was the National Football League’s sports betting czar, has left his post for internet conglomerate IAC.

Halpin (pictured above, left, with Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan) leaves a role as an NFL chief strategy and growth officer. Now, he’ll be the chief financial officer role at IAC/InterActiveCorp, effective Jan. 26.

Among those growth areas in need of strategic planning had been the NFL’s slow courtship and eventual full-fledged embrace of legal sports betting beginning in 2018 with the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Halpin was among the first NFL executives to publicly acknowledge wagering, in addition to being aware of its means of fan engagement and then as a revenue stream.

Chris Halpin helped normalize sports betting to leagues, fans

In three short years, professional sports leagues, including the NFL, have added official gaming partners, allowed sports betting advertisements during broadcasts, and in states like Arizona, allowed franchises to become, in effect, operators.

Halpin estimated in August that the NFL could reap $1 billion annually from gambling revenue within a decade.

Halpin to the Washington Post:

“… 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’s new role could eventually tap back into his experience in the gambling realm. Furthermore, the IAC buys a 12% share of MGM Resorts International in 2020 and involves itself in media.

The opening became available when Glenn Schiffman became CFO of Fanatics, which also has sports betting aspirations.

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Photo by Gary McCullough / The Associated Press
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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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