NFL Partnering with Three Sportsbooks

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

The days of the NFL shying away from sports gambling are clearly in the rearview mirror. The NFL has announced an exclusive agreement with three sportsbooks — Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings — worth nearly $1-billion for the league.

The agreement will give the sportsbooks exclusive access to NFL intellectual property and trademarks when promoting sports betting. The sportsbooks will also be allowed to tailor their betting content to the NFL, using NFL highlights and Next Gen Stats when setting up betting point spreads and odds.

In turn, the three sportsbooks will also be able to create their own content that will then be featured by the NFL.

For Caesars, it will still be branded as the NFL's "official casino," which allows it to use the NFL logos and trademarks at all of its more than 50 worldwide casino properties. For DraftKings and FanDuel, they will now see their brand featured more prominently on the NFL Network and NFL RedZone channels.

For the NFL, which just signed a television rights deal worth more than $100 billion, these are considered tier-one deals. That means that the league is still free to sign deals with other sports betting providers but at a lower level of content and exposure. And those other deals are expected to be announced in the near future. 

What This Means for NFL Bettors 

These three sportsbooks are now allowed to enhance their NFL betting content, which should make for a more well-rounded NFL betting experience for bettors. Instead of having to go to more than one place for betting content, news, highlights, stats, and more, NFL bettors will conceivably have access to a complete game-day experience on the sportsbook's website and mobile app.

One thing agreed upon in the deal is a cooperation between the league and the sportsbooks to help protect the integrity of the game and betting on the game. This includes intelligence sharing, aligning policies regarding betting content, and advocacy efforts and education for responsible gaming.

Caesars will be heading efforts to improve the betting experience at special NFL events, like the Pro Bowl and NFL Draft. DraftKings will remain the league's official daily fantasy sports provider and provide fantasy football information on the NFL RedZone channel.

Look for FanDuel to be featured prominently during the seven NFL game broadcasts to be shown on the NFL Network in 2021. 

Watson's Lawyer Says All Accusers are Lying 

In what can only be described as an aggressive and bold strategy, the lawyer for Deshaun Watson says that all 22 women accusing Watson of inappropriate sexual behavior during massage therapy sessions are lying.

Houston attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement, "Mr. Watson has been adamant that he did not engage in any improper conduct, and we strongly believe him. Therefore, the answer to the question of whether we are saying all 22 plaintiffs are lying about the allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr. Watson is a resounding yes."

All 22 women were ordered to reveal their identities by the court last week, and all 22 women have complied with that order. And it is that change in the case, putting faces to the accusations, that prompted the strong response by Watson's defense team.

Hardin's filing specific to the first woman to file a case against Watson, Ashley Solis, called her litigation a "money grab" with tailored interactions specifically designed to support a civil lawsuit.

"It was not until the plaintiffs saw an opportunity for a money grab that they changed their stories to convert therapy sessions they bragged about to friends and family to something much more nefarious," Hardin said.

Plaintiff's attorney Tony Buzbee fired back, "Watson can't deny he sought out an unusually high number of women for massages on Instagram; he doesn't deny he insisted on being nude or nearly nude; he can't deny the massage sessions occurred; he can't deny he wanted more than a massage; and he hasn't credibly denied that something bad happened during the sessions."

The change in strategy by Watson's defense team comes less than two weeks after they alleged that Watson did engage in "some consensual encounters," and Hardin said, "I am not about to accuse all 22 women of ill motive or lying."

Now, less than two weeks later, he has done exactly that.

With Watson now seemingly tied to the franchise for the upcoming year, projections for the Texans remain mired in pessimism in betting markets. The Houston Texans remain at the bottom of the odds board to win the AFC South at +1200.

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