Cowboys secure NFL first with casino deal

7 September 2018

The Dallas Cowboys franchise has become the first NFL team to seal a sponsorship deal with a casino, just days after the American football league relaxed its rules on such commercial partnerships.

Dallas has teamed up with WinStar World Casino and Resort, which has secured the exclusive designation as the franchise’s official casino. Ironically, WinStar is located in Oklahoma, where sports betting has not been regulated yet.

The length or value of the deal has not been disclosed, but the casino will be able to use the team’s logos and marks. The Cowboys kick off their 2018-19 season against the Carolina Panthers this Sunday.

The sponsorship was made possible by an amendment that was recently approved by NFL franchise owners. At the end of last month, the NFL’s Business Venture Committee updated its rules regarding gambling-related sponsorships, with some caveats attached.

Teams are now allowed to strike commercial partnerships with casinos, but will not be allowed to promote the latter’s sportsbooks. Moreover, team-owned channels will be able to show advertisements for casinos and daily fantasy sports, but not sportsbooks, in shoulder programming and pre-season games.

“The Dallas Cowboys take great pride in aligning themselves with the best brands in the world,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (pictured).

“It is a privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder as partners with such a prominent entertainment brand like WinStar World Casino. We are excited about the future of gaming as it relates to the NFL.”

The NFL’s change of stance in relation to casinos has occurred nearly four months after the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting.

Earlier this week, a report commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and carried out by Nielsen Sports revealed that the NFL could boost its annual turnover by $2.3bn (£1.8bn/€2bn) per year through widely available, regulated US sports betting.

The report highlighted the potential for increased investment in the NFL and its teams from bookmakers and the rise in revenue generated as a result of greater consumption of the league’s media channels and products.

Last month, the NFL and other top US sports leagues came out in support of the proposed introduction of a federal sports betting framework. The AGA slammed the plans, which suggested restricting bookmakers to use official league data, as “a non-starter”.

On July 31, MGM became an official partner of the NBA basketball league – the first such agreement between a gambling company and a US major league. The three-year deal is believed to be worth $25m.

Picture Credit: Keith Allison