The National Football League now officially supports daily fantasy sports, but sports betting is still considered taboo.
Because that logically makes sense (insert sarcasm).
Last Thursday, the NFL sent out a press release that announced a partnership between the league and DraftKings, the largest provider of DFS.
According to the agreement, DraftKings will have access to NFL brand, including logo, stats, highlights, and more, for its daily fantasy football contests, which covers a player base of around 11 million globally—90% of whom have played an NFL daily fantasy contest.
“This is a defining moment in the industry, and we are thrilled to become the first daily fantasy sports partner to enter into a formal relationship with the NFL,” said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. “Throughout our discussions with the League, it was evident we share a common vision around the future of fan engagement, and we are excited to continue on this unique journey with the NFL as our Official Daily Fantasy Partner.”
“Daily fantasy football has been a tremendous vehicle for fans of all types to deepen their engagement with the NFL,” said Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships. “We’re thrilled to partner with DraftKings, a clear leader in the daily fantasy space, as they continue to innovate and provide our millions of fans additional ways to interact with and enjoy the NFL.”
However, with DraftKings Sportsbook now operating in multiple states across the newly legalized U.S. sports betting market, the NFL wants you to know they still don’t feel comfortable supporting people placing wagers on their product.
“The focus is to make sure that we’re protecting the consumer and the integrity of the game,” said Anderson when asked about the NFL having a betting partner. “We’re going to take our time, when we feel it’s ready and right to go into that space, that we’ve dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s.”
Protecting the “integrity of the game” is the same tired argument the NFL—and all the other major professional sports leagues—used when trying to stop PASPA from being repealed last year.
However, the other major professional sports leagues in the United States have since come around to the idea of sports betting because studies have shown how much it increases the value of their brand.
The NFL, on the other hand, remains the country’s only major pro league to not to have a sports betting partner.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has signed off on partnering with Caesars for casino gambling, Sportradar for selling league data to sportsbooks, and now, DraftKings for DFS.
But sports betting? No, that would ruin the “integrity” of Commissioner Goodell’s precious money-milking product.
What’s laughable is you have a much better chance of beating the spread—roughly 45% of people win ATS each week—then you do entering a DFS contest where only the top 20% to 25% of participants will see any return on investment due to its more lottery-esque format.
And never mind the fact that Goodell tried to cover up the brain damage studies showing players had developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for years or that the commissioner gave Ray Rice a two-game suspension for punching his girlfriend in the face in an elevator, knocking her unconscious—Goodell would then be forced to suspend Rice for the entire season once TMZ released the tape became public.
So remember: Anytime the NFL or Goodell says they’re “protecting the integrity of the game” then just know what the league actually means is that they’re “protecting their own hypocrisy.”