Players are voting today whether to accept a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the next decade and NFL betting is in focus.
While much of the focus will be on a potential 17-game season or expanded playoffs, the CBA is also heavy on references to gambling.
The word is mentioned 36 times in the document, with the focus on clarifying exactly what gambling revenues qualify as “all revenue.” In other words, they are discussing what revenue needs to be split between players and owners.
How does gambling figure in NFL revenue pot?
The pot includes revenue derived from “gambling on any aspect of an NFL game,” including game outcomes and player-specific results. NFL betting is, of course, the primary driver of sportsbook revenue throughout the United States.
It also includes all gambling-related sponsorship and licensing fees. In practical terms, that means the players will be getting a cut of the money from the Sportradar data deal, as well as the league’s partnership with Caesars.
The agreement also covers individual clubs and their gambling sponsors, like 888 and the New York Jets.
Betting in NFL stadiums?
Elsewhere, the new CBA covers revenues from “the operation of gambling of any kind in an NFL stadium.” That would seem to include sportsbooks, although these are not currently allowed under NFL rules.
The NFL recently these rules, allowing teams to have betting lounges and accept sponsorships from sportsbook operators but no actual sportsbooks.
Even more interestingly, the CBA says ‘all revenues’ include revenue from non-football gambling in stadiums such as slot machines.
You mustn’t fix NFL games
The new bargaining agreement also reiterates some old ground around integrity. It warns that players are liable for suspension if they fix games, bet on games, or even “knowingly associate with gamblers or gambling activity.”
(Recall the suspension of Arizona Cardinals player Josh Shaw for wagering on NFL games during the 2019 season.)
The CBA document is the latest sign that the NFL is jumping in on monetizing legal US sports betting. As mentioned, it recently allowed sports betting sponsorships and in-stadium betting lounges, and is also hiring a VP of sports betting.