In just a few year NFL players might directly benefit from sports betting within the league's 32 stadiums. But don't worry, benefitting from specific bets would still be prohibited.
For many years NFL authorities were cautious if not fearful of any association with sports betting. After all, even a mere accusation of compromised integrity could do real harm to the league's image. The league was even opposed to advertising Las Vegas as a city just to avoid association with gambling.
That's all in the past now. In 2018 the Supreme Court – against the will of NFL, NCAA and other entities – opened up the sports betting market and allowed it to be advertised widely. It's still up to the states whether and how they want to regulate the industry, but seeing how lucrative and unavoidable it seems, the approach is widely open.
It might even turn out that in a couple years you'll be browsing through the William Hill Casino Review from a dedicated betting lounge within an actual NFL stadium. In fact, William Hill is already building its first venue-based sportsbook already (at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.) While all forms of gambling – including sports bets and odds checking – are moving online, physical sportsbooks will be part of the new NFL experience possibly already in 2020.
Seeing this new avenue for profit, more and more NFL teams are considering placement of such facilities within their stadia, of course depending on specific legislation in their respective states. Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada. Colorado, North Carolina and Tennessee have passed legislation and are planning to launch sportsbooks this year. Further states, like Maryland and Virginia, are about to pass either similar legislation or exemptions that would allow NFL to benefit from sports betting.
Seeing the sudden leap into sportbooks at stadiums, revenue from gambling became part of the latest collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between NFL and the NFL Players Association. While not limited to specific avenues of profit, the CBA includes a clause that will see players have a share of the NFL sports betting revenue. This literally means players will earn money on people gambling on those players' games. Of course not directly, so there is no old-time fear of the game's integrity being compromised.
Some of the gambling revenue split by owners and players could be based on the outcome of wagers, defined in the CBA as “the aggregate net difference between gaming wins and losses [not the total amount wagered] net of all excise taxes or other gambling or gaming-related taxes or surcharges actually paid or owed.” This specific language matters, as players will have a share of the overall revenue rather than from specific activities.
The CBA for 2020-2030 is the first to include revenue from sports betting. It sees players increase their share to 48.5% (from 48%) of overall revenue, majority still going to the owners and stadium operators.