It’s official, the first NFL-themed slot machine is coming by way of Aristocrat Gaming.
The company unveiled the NFL-branded slot machine on Thursday, saying they will hit US casino floors when the 2023 NFL season begins in September.
Joe Ruggiero, SVP of Consumer Products at the NFL, said in a PR Newswire press release: “The unveiling of the first NFL-themed slot machines represents an opportunity to bring the League closer to our fans in a new area.”
NFL is finally on board with gambling
Ruggiero’s words are a reversal of the National Football League, which greatly opposed the legalization of sports betting in 2018.
Aristocrat announced it had won the highly sought-after license in 2021 when it signed a multi-year agreement with the league. Speaking with CNBC, Aristocrat Gaming CEO Hector Fernandez said:
“I truly believe that this could be an industry-changing event for slot machines and for casinos themselves — pushing the boundaries, driving innovation to something that really has never been done before.”
Part of the innovation aspect of slot machine manufacturing is creating a machine that appeals to every NFL fan. Aristocrat’s solution is customizable skins allowing players to choose their favorite team, which will load relevant imagery.
Aristocrat also hopes NFL-themed slots will encourage younger people to play the casino game.
Slot machine debut follows another NFL suspension for gambling
The release of a new casino product follows the league suspending another NFL player for betting on NFL games. On Monday, the league confirmed Eyioma Uwazurike of the Denver Broncos would miss the entire 2023 season.
The league said Uwazurike would be eligible to petition for reinstatement no earlier than July 2024.
Uwazurike becomes the 10th player this year to be suspended for violating the NFL’s gambling policy. He is the seventh player suspended indefinitely, while three others will miss part of the upcoming season.
According to the league’s gambling policy, NFL players and personnel are not allowed to:
- Place bets while in NFL facilities
- Disclose any nonpublic NFL info
- Enter a sportsbook during the NFL season
- Maintain any social, business or personal relationships with sports bettors