NFL Owners Love Legalized Sports Gambling

It has turned TV ratings around.  

The National Football League ownership group is breathing a sigh of relief. TV ratings are up, not many are talking about the concussion issue and there is interest in the product. One owner, the New York Giants Jonathan Tisch explains the sudden reversal of the decline of TV ratings in 2017 and 2018 has been caused by legalized sports gambling. That’s an interesting thought because Tisch’s Giants franchise was on board with the National Football League’s fight to keep New Jersey from opening a sportsbook in the state after voters in 2011 approved a sportsbook at casinos in the state. The NFL went to the Supreme Court to fight New Jersey and along the way threatened the state by saying it would never award another Super Bowl to New Jersey if a sportsbook opened. But the NFL owners began singing a different tune, “Money, That’s What I Want”, after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of New Jersey in May of 2018 and opened the door to legalized sports gambling in 49 states and the District of Columbia and other United States territories.

Tisch was recently on a CNBC show, Power Lunch, were he elegantly waxed poetic about the NFL’s brand-new revenue producing partner. Legalized sports gambling and the TV ratings spike. “That is certainly a big influence. Obviously, if you’re betting on a certain game, you’re going to watch to see what happens and you’re going to watch until the bitter end because there are many games that are won on a field goal with three seconds left.” For decades the NFL ownership group fought sportsbooks because of something, maybe an integrity issue, the owners did not want to stain the game. Tisch also praised fantasy football and thought that daily fantasy games were heightening interest in his product. The NFL now embraces sports gambling.