PlayUSA Rewind: New Lounges Are Proof The NFL Is Warming Up To Sports Betting

Written By Grant Lucas on March 4, 2020 - Last Updated on December 21, 2021

The saying goes that it is better to have the devil you know in your corner rather than the devil you don’t.

For professional sports leagues in North America, at least from their perspective, that means embracing the idea of legalized and state-sanction sports betting.

For decades, these leagues spoke against the idea of regulated wagering. Now, that industry is spreading like wildfire and these leagues are seemingly lowering their guards.

And now, one of the most anti-betting leagues in the country appears ready to accept legal wagering.

On to the Rewind:

Betting lounges coming to NFL stadiums

Could a league that has long opposed state-sanctioned sports betting be considering the integration of legalized sports betting in its stadiums?

Time will tell, but the NFL has given the OK for its franchises to house “betting lounges.”

Starting with the 2020 season, professional football stadiums can accept sponsorships from legal sports betting operators as well as transform areas of their venues into betting lounges.

While actual retail sportsbooks remain banned from stadiums, those bookmakers will have the opportunity to sponsor betting lounges, which will showcase legalized online betting options. This particular spot will represent “an adult, discreet area,” as NFL spokesman Chris Halpin told ESPN, complete with “a betting setup, but we’re not going to have betting windows.”

While bookmakers can sponsor franchises, advertising in the lower bowls of stadiums remains prohibited.

As NFL betting is hugely popular, it would make sense for the league to warm to the idea of legalized sports betting–and it looks like they are.

NJ online gambling power expands iGaming partnership

No online gambling operator in New Jersey has performed like Golden Nugget. It seems every month the license holder is setting state industry revenue records, including a whopping $21.2 million showing in January.

Golden Nugget is looking to get more out of its iGaming partner, as the operator announced an agreement to expand its deal with Scientific Games.

Specifically, the new agreement will help bolster Golden Nugget’s sports betting and iGaming markets.

Scientific Games will provide its “OpenGaming” system to assist with Golden Nugget’s online gambling presence. On top of that, Golden Nugget will leverage the “OpenSports” sports betting management serves from Don Best Sports.

While FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook continue to dominate the NJ sports betting world, this expanded agreement with Scientific Games could help Golden Nugget become more prominent. Since launching a year ago, Golden Nugget’s betting app has enjoyed a sports betting revenue increase of more than 1900%.

And the app has certainly helped: Some 79% of Golden Nugget’s wagering revenue came via online betting.

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Ex-FanDuel employees going after Paddy Power

Nearly two years after Paddy Power Betfair completed its acquisition of FanDuel Sportsbook, former FanDuel employees have filed a lawsuit against private equity investors.

Filed in New York, the employees allege that investors bilked them out of their rightful stake in the company after FanDuel sold to Paddy Power.

FanDuel co-founder and former CEO Nigel Eccles is among over 100 former employees backing the lawsuit, which echoes a prior lawsuit that claimed private equity firms lowered the price of FanDuel to benefit themselves.

As detailed by Legal Sports Report, preferred shareholders with FanDuel, such as these private equity firms, were afforded the first $559 million in proceeds from the sale. Whatever was left would go to common shareholders, such as FanDuel founders and former employees. It also included a 40% share of the newly created FanDuel Group.

However, the lawsuit alleges that private equity firms kept FanDuel’s valuation to less than $559 million to guarantee they would receive all of that 40% stake.

Per the suit, when FanDuel and DraftKings reportedly entertained a merger proposal, the same investors valued FanDuel at $1.2 billion.

While no specific monetary damages are requested in the lawsuit, the plaintiffs should be entitled “hundreds of millions of dollars” that were taken from them during the sale.

That’s some payday.

Grant Lucas Avatar
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.

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