What changed Roger Goodell's mind about sports gambling? NFL announces deals with FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBet

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The NFL has announced that it is partnering with betting companies FOX Bet, BetMGm, PointBet, and WynnBet to be their official partners for the 2021 season. This ends a long battle between betting companies and the NFL, with the former advocating for betting on the league to be made legal.

Sports betting is part of the game whether the league or commissioner would like it to happen or not.

Apps like FOX Bet Super App 6 have given away nearly $5 million in prizes to 100 million entrants since launching in September of 2019. It's hard to ignore this enormous revenue stream.

Every day in Vegas, sportsbooks handle thousands of bets, so naturally, the NFL was bound to find some way to get into the sports gambling space legally.

Why did NFL commissioner Roger Goodell change his mind about gambling?

Fans flock to apps like DraftKings and FanDuel to test their knowledge of their favorite teams and other teams they like.

Sports betting apps allow players to draft their teams like in fantasy football, but with a chance to win thousands of dollars. The marriage between the NFL and sports betting was inevitable.

States like Arizona have already begun making sports gambling legal, thus bringing in a new way to bring in more revenue.

With states passing their own rules on gambling, much like Nevada has for decades, the NFL will be on the outside looking in. Forfeiting millions of dollars is hard to pass on for the league.

According to, the gross revenue for gambling in the United States in 2018 was $161.24 billion dollars. In 2020, the sports betting industry accounted for $1.55 billion of all gross income from gambling. Goodell and the NFL would have had to look at these metrics and realize that they are missing out on a highly popular way for fans to engage with the league.

The United States supreme court decided in 2018 to allow states to legalize sports gambling. Soon, states began allowing sports gambling to be legal. The tide has changed quickly in favor of sports gambling. The NFL has made up its mind to rake-in more revenue via betting.

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar
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