Dallas Cowboys Make History With First Official NFL Casino Partnership

Written By Bart Shirley on September 8, 2018 - Last Updated on June 8, 2022

The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys are often first to mind when people think of a football team. Now, the Cowboys are the first NFL team to form a partnership with a casino.

In a historic deal, WinStar World Casino is officially a corporate sponsor of the Texas team. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones announced the partnership during a press conference in Frisco, Texas.

“The Dallas Cowboys take great pride in aligning themselves with the best brands in the world,” said Jones. “It is a privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder as partners with such a prominent entertainment brand like WinStar World Casino.”

WinStar General Manager Jack Parkinson also attended the announcement. The South African-born Parkinson indicated that he was now a Dallas Cowboys fan.

NFL owners recently allowed casino partnerships

WinStar will be the first casino officially able to display the logos and markings of an NFL team. The deal will also allow for both companies to host cross-promotional events.

NFL owners have historically prohibited teams from entering into deals with gambling interests. However, a recent amendment allowed casinos to explore deals with teams.

Undeniably, this amendment is a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling against PASPA. Without the nationwide prohibition on sports betting, no team could deny the relationship between gambling and sports.

It is also reasonable to assume that the NFL owners observed the new deal between the NBA and MGM Resorts. When the basketball league found no pushback, this emboldened its football counterpart to take a similar step.

To be fair, however, the NFL has been the most levelheaded of the sports leagues. NFL never made a demand for integrity fees early on and emphasized working in partnership with sports betting interests. This partnership is the natural progression of that thinking.

WinStar is not small potatoes

WinStar World Casino and Resort is located in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Travelers from Texas can reach the casino via the very first exit across the state line.

WinStar opened its doors in 2003 as a small tribal casino for the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Its location, no more than an hour’s drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, allowed the casino to grow at an explosive rate.

As a result, the casino has expanded twice in its 15-year history. The expansions allowed WinStar to become the largest casino in the United States, and at times, the largest in the world.

The casino itself spreads across a mind-boggling 519,000 square feet of space. Only the Venetian Macao surpasses the gaming space footprint of WinStar.

WinStar understands public relations, too

WinStar has also never been shy about expanding its influence in the state of Texas. The published donor lists of many state legislators routinely show contributions from the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.

There’s also a blurring of the border between the two states in that part of the world. In the press announcement, Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby spoke of the connection between the two sides of the Red River.

“Hundreds of Chickasaws live in the Dallas area and the Dallas Cowboys are a vital part of the community,” said Anoatubby. “While this partnership is a great business deal that is only one of the reasons we are excited to be involved with the Dallas Cowboys and the Jones family. Jerry Jones is committed to enhancing the quality of life of Arlington youth and others in the community, which aligns closely with our mission to enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people.”

The deal certainly represents a momentous step forward for the people of Chickasaw Nation. However, we’ll see how tolerant the Chickasaws will be when it comes to the Cowboys’ perennial playoff eliminations.

Photo credit: Dean Bertoncelj / Shutterstock.com

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a senior evergreen content writer for PlayUSA. He’s been writing and reporting on the gambling industry since 2013. Prior to working for PlayUSA, Shirley was a feature writer for QuadJacks, a site covering issues in poker. He also writes for BonusCodePoker, a poker satire site that lampoons the lighter side of card games. Shirley is a graduate of the MBA program at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business and has a degree in English from Texas A&M University. He grew up in Houston, TX, and lives in Katy, just west of Houston. Shirley is also a former high school teacher. He is married, has one daughter, and practices Brazilian jiu jitsu in his spare time.

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