The NFL is hiring a gaming executive whose primary task will be to help guide the league as it embraces sports betting.
The Supreme Court repealed the federal ban on sports betting in May of 2018. The annulled law had barred full-scale sports betting everywhere but Nevada.
Today, legal sportsbooks are operational in 14 states. With fans now able to place regulated wagers on pro football games across the nation, the NFL is taking steps to ensure it’s at the forefront of the market.
Legal Sports Reports says the NFL has put out feelers to hiring agents for its newly formed position of vice president of sports betting. According to the media outlet, the position will focus on game integrity matters, further increasing fan engagement around the world, and capitalizing on the league’s data and intellectual property.
Job seekers won’t find the position posted on the NFL Careers website. Instead, the league is said to be reaching out to qualified individuals and fielding inquiries from gaming executives who have relevant experience.
The sports betting VP will report to NFL Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Christopher Halpin.
The “Big Four” pro leagues in the US had for decades opposed any close association with casinos. The thought was sports betting threatened the integrity of NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games, and a blurred line between sportsbooks and sports would jeopardize the reputation of the leagues.
The Supreme Court ruling somewhat forced the hand of the NFL, as no longer would sports betting be restricted to Nevada. Of the 32 NFL teams, seven now play in a state where regulated sports betting is up and running – most notably, the Las Vegas Raiders.
A slew of other states are inching closer to the gambling activity, and will greatly increase that number in the coming years. As a result, certain careers with the NFL now come with a preferred qualification of gaming experience.
A job that was posted last November – Brand Director – is described as a role that “carries out the vision and strategy of the NFL brand and 32 clubs. The Brand Director’s strategic thinking and brand expertise will be key in development of rules and guidelines around legalized sports betting.”
Qualified applicants, the post adds, should have “experience with sports betting and gaming.”
In an open position for an associate counsel, the NFL says it’s “seeking an experienced transactional attorney” who “will provide key legal support for the licensing of NFL data and other content in connection with media-related initiatives related to legalized sports betting.”
The NFL is the most-watched professional sports league in America.
After a few difficult years blamed on the 2016 presidential election and player protests during the singing of the national anthem that turned some fans away, the 2019-20 season rebounded in terms of television ratings. Audience figures increased five percent, with the 17-week average at 16.5 million viewers.
Sports betting is only helping increase fan engagement. The American Gaming Association expected a record 26 million Americans to bet on Super Bowl LIV.