Caesars Entertainment Inc. is set to become an official sports betting partner for the National Football League.
The partnership expands upon an agreement that formed in January 2019, when the NFL named Caesars its first casino sponsor. That title was renewed, according to a Thursday news release.
The new multiyear agreement kicks off with the 2021 NFL season and authorizes Caesars to offer NFL-themed free-to-play games, create sports betting content with the league and use NFL marks in its sports betting offerings. The Reno-based casino operator will in turn provide sports betting content for NFL media platforms such as NFL.com and the NFL app.
The league also named sports betting operators DraftKings and FanDuel as official sports betting partners.
It’s a significant shakeup, considering the league once was strictly against having any ties to sports betting. That’s changed as the industry has expanded across the country; legal sports betting is currently live in 21 states and the District of Columbia, according to the American Gaming Association. Six other states having approved but not yet launched sports betting.
Last year, the legal U.S. sports betting market generated roughly $1.5 billion in revenue, according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
“Sports betting and online gaming are the next frontiers for our industry, and we are committed to being where the players are,” Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said in a Thursday statement. “This expanded relationship allows us to introduce new ways for fans to play alongside their favorite teams, tied into our industry-leading Caesars Rewards program.”
Caesars will retain the right to use the NFL trademark in its marketing as a sponsor, according to the release.
“Together, Caesars and the NFL are changing the way fans can experience football,” Eric Hession, co-president of Caesars Sports & Online Gaming, said in the statement. “We will enable NFL fans to enjoy an enhanced experience at our casinos, in our sportsbooks, and online. Paired with the ability to earn Caesars Rewards credits and tier status that unlock incredible experiences, football season will be more exciting than ever.”
Caesars received approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board last month to acquire William Hill U.S., Nevada’s largest sportsbook operator, for $3.7 billion.
Caesars has a number of additional partnerships with various NFL teams, including the Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.