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NFL considers gambling on casino ads


Now that Brett Favre’s brother is the Director of Gaming at a West Virginia casino (what could go wrong?), Jeff Favre’s casino may soon be able to purchase signs at nearby Heinz Field. (Hopefully, Brett won’t select the photos to be used in the ads.)

NFL owners still meeting in Florida may consider a relaxation of the league’s anti-gambling rules to permit advertisements for casinos in stadiums. Dan Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reported earlier this week that a vote could indeed be taken.

As Kaplan explains it, certain restrictions would apply. For example, and most importantly, the casino must not have a sports book.

The process is driven by the perception that some teams have been selling ad space to Native American tribes who own nearby casinos. So an advertisement for the tribe is, in a roundabout way, an advertisement for the casino.

Per Kaplan, the Sycuan Tribe sponsors the San Diego Chargers, Oneida Nation sponsors the Green Bay Packers, and the Gila River Indian Community sponsors the Arizona Cardinals. Previously, the Miccosukee Tribe sponsored the Miami Dolphins. (Coincidentally, the term “Miccosukee” translates in English to “Miami Dolphins.”)

Giants co-owner John Mara tells the New York Post that his team is “willing to consider” the proposal.

“It’s an interesting situation, because that’s a great segment in which to develop relationships anyway,” Jets owner Woody Johnson told the Post. “But it’s also a delicate situation because you’d want to be sensitive to the league’s existing policy on gambling.”

The league’s existing policy on gambling goes something like this: “We know a lot of people gamble and that they specifically gamble on football and that much of our ratings and revenue come from folks who follow football because they gamble on football but we’re just going to pretend that none of that happens, and for good measure we’re going to act all indignant about any type of gambling, except for those scratch-and-lose tickets because we’ve finally figured out you can make a ton of money off those things.”

The NFL is now realizing that there’s plenty of money to be made by allowing casino to buy ads in NFL stadiums. And since every business is driven by a relentless desire to constantly find a way to grow the pie, don’t be surprised if this proposal doesn’t crap out.