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NFL votes to allow stadium sportsbooks to be open on game days

Updated March 28, 2023 - 6:27 pm

The NFL continues to embrace sports betting after years of opposing it.

NFL owners voted Tuesday to allow sportsbooks at stadiums to remain open on game days.

Fans already can bet on their phones at stadiums via mobile apps. But only four teams operate brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at their stadiums: the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Commanders, and the New York Giants and Jets.

The Commanders are the only team with a sportsbook inside their stadium; the others are located just outside the stadiums.

Even with the NFL shifting its stance, adding one at Allegiant Stadium wouldn’t be allowed without amending the Raiders’ lease agreement. Gambling, including sports betting, is among the prohibited uses in the agreement between the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and the Raiders for Allegiant Stadium.

“As of today, the stadium authority has not received any requests for or contemplated the addition of gaming-related activities at Allegiant Stadium,” said Brian Gordon, principal with Applied Analysis, the firm which serves as staff for the stadium authority.

“Should the circumstances change, the parties to the agreement would likely contemplate the appropriateness of a potential change to eliminate the prohibited use (from the lease agreement).”

The Raiders have partnerships with several gaming companies, including BetMGM and Caesars Entertainment, but none immediately expressed a desire to open a book at Allegiant Stadium, which will host the 2024 Super Bowl.

“BetMGM were pioneers of sportsbooks inside stadiums,” BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott said in a text message. “We are happy with our current partners and in the short term wouldn’t be actively looking to expand our portfolio.”

BetMGM opened the first sportsbook at an NFL stadium in September 2022 at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium. It also opened the first book connected to a Major League Baseball park in January 2022 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

In May 2021, William Hill, now owned by Caesars, became the first full-fledged sportsbook to operate in a pro sports arena in the U.S. at Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals and Wizards. A temporary sportsbook opened at Capital One Arena in August 2020.

The Raiders and Caesars did not reply to a request for comment.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter. Review-Journal reporters Vincent Bonsignore and Mick Akers contributed to this story.

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