BetMGM named one of NFL's seven approved sportsbook operators

These operators can purchase select NFL advertising, media inventory

Photo of Angela Mulka

On Monday, BetMGM was approved as a sportsbook operator with the NFL, along with FOX Bet, PointsBet and WynnBet. Previously, the league announced deals with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel. All seven of these sportsbooks are available in Michigan.

It was in April that the NFL announced its first-ever U.S. sportsbook partnerships with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel. As part of those deals, in addition to having the exclusive right to leverage NFL marks within the sports betting category and activate around retail and online sports betting, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel may also leverage their Approved Sportsbook Operator status to secure premium NFL advertising inventory during games and around ancillary programming.

No sportsbooks outside of these seven operators will be permitted to purchase this select NFL advertising and media inventory.

"We are pleased to announce this select group as Approved Sportsbook Operators," said Nana-Yaw Asamoah, vice president of business development for the NFL, in a statement. "Along with our three Official Sports Betting Partners, this group of operators will help the League to engage fans in responsible and innovative ways this season as the sports betting landscape continues to evolve."

What does being an approved sportsbook operator mean?

It means that you are approved to run in-game ads during NFL games, so Detroit Lions fans will quickly become even more familiar with these brands this fall. There's also some logo rights and other integrations involved in the deals, according to Matt Schoch, analyst for PlayMichigan.

In the big picture, these deals are yet another indication of how much times have changed for the sports betting market.

"Just a few years ago, the NFL was among the entities lobbying against legalized sports betting," Schoch said. "Now that it's legal, and has moved into the mainstream, the NFL is capitalizing on it. Similar deals have been announced by other professional sports leagues, along with the Lions, Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers."

As for impact, live sporting events are one of the few remaining appointment viewing television programs, and the NFL is king for American television, according to Schoch. He said with this as the first full season for online sports betting in Michigan, companies are lining up to get their names in front of viewers.

In March, more than $359 million was wagered on sports betting online in the state — a record since the Jan. 22 online launch. Through July, more than $1.8 billion was wagered on sports online and at the Detroit casinos.

"We expect that this fall, Michigan sports betting will establish new records and the market will expand to become one of the top states for sports betting in the country," Schoch said.

Additionally, bettors will have chances to take advantage of sign-up promotions and existing customer promotions throughout the fall as operators compete to acquire more customers.

Online sports betting arrived in Michigan on Jan. 22 of this year. The launch was able to happen due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018. The ruling struck down a previous decision that had made Nevada the only legal sports betting market. Once the precedent was set for other states, New Jersey adopted online sports betting by passing statutes that legalized sports gambling within its borders, and it has been a domino effect from there, according to Zack Hall, media relations lead for Catena Media and PlayMichigan.

Additionally, Michigan is one of the only states with a big online casino market. Since launching in January, online casinos and poker rooms have generated $575.4 million in revenue and $141.8 million in state and local taxes, according to Hall.