Paul Fox, CEO of international gaming company LeTou, has described the decision taken by the NFL this week to facilitate sports betting lounges at select stadia as a progressive move. He added that it “…shows their commitment to incorporating sports betting to the matchday experience in states that gambling is legal”. 

As reported this week, effective from the start of the upcoming 2020 season, the NFL has empowered teams to accept sportsbook operator sponsorships and enabled a select number of stadia to have betting lounges. Retail sportsbooks at venues will, however, remain off limits for now.

Said Fox: “Online gambling continues to grow exponentially and it’s natural that the NFL would want to generate additional income for its clubs and sponsors. Fantasy football has shown over the years that it’s a great way to keep fans engaged with every game throughout the season and in many ways online sports betting is an extension of that.”

According to Fox, betting on NFL matches has become increasingly popular in Europe and Asia over the past decade and he sees this development as something that the league is clearly keen to make the most of.

“It remains to be seen how many other states will follow the likes of Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in legalizing sports betting,” he commented. “But we can expect several new changes to be introduced over the coming years.”

NFL Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Chris Halpin, confirmed this week that the betting lounge offering, open to franchises whose stadia are located in jurisdictions where sports gambling is legal, will showcase mobile betting options.

“We’re allowing betting lounges,” he said. “Similar to daily fantasy lounges today, in an adult, discreet area. There will be a betting setup, but we’re not going to have betting windows.”

As it stands, four states where legal sportsbooks operate are home to NFL outfits: Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Several more jurisdictions, which include NFL home states such as the District of Columbia, Illinois and Tennessee, are expected to launch sports betting later in the year.