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The NFL has been watching as over thirty U.S. states have legalized sports betting for their residents, and with 32 football franchises based in separate areas of the country, that means there are millions of football fans who can now legally bet on their favorite teams and players.
In a move to double down on their commitment to this lucrative new market, the NFL has just announced that it has created a new role within its corporation – Vice President and General Manager of Sports Betting – and they have chosen David Highhill to fill the position.
It could be considered a lateral move for Highhill given his decade long stint with the league as the vice president of strategy and analysis in the corporate strategy group, a man great with numbers who will focus on giving NFL fans the best sports betting experience they can have.
Highhill sees sports betting as a positive thing for the NFL and its fans though he also understands that right now we are only at the start of a long journey, saying:
It’s a growing market, it’s grown a lot in the last three or four seasons. What’s to come is the exciting part of the opportunity.
So far, the NFL has done its best to embrace this evolving market.
Fans of the NFL saw plenty of examples of the league embracing legal sports betting as ads peppered the screens during games and previews and sports talk shows, so much so that the TV Caesar played by comic actor J.B. Smoove is slowly becoming a household figure.
The future looks bright for NFL / sports betting partnership and Highhill sounds realistic in his approach for strengthening those ties, and given that some football fans are not interested in gambling, he must figure out a way to make a perfect balance for both sides, saying:
We know that there is a profile of more interested fans and a profile of less interested fans. So, serving the fans where they are is very important and that goes along with supporting our relationship with the National Gaming Council and ensuring that we take a leadership position on the issue of preventing gaming issues.
As for going into the sportsbook business, the NFL seems to have zero interest.
As lucrative as owning and running a successful sportsbook can be, the NFL has no plans to get into that business and start their own operation, right now content with forming partnerships with existing operators and taking a fair cut of the action, with Highhill telling the press:
We’re going to focus on serving fans and the games rather than becoming a sportsbook.
One way Highhill does want to take ownership of the NFL’s relationship with legal sports betting is to make sure the league will also “take a leadership position on problem gambling” promising to develop a solid relationship with the National Council on Problem Gambling.
The NFL’s 2022 season starts in September, so make sure to check back for all the latest predictions, odds, and picks for the most exciting matchups of the week.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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