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In what should be viewed as a landmark application, the National Football League approved Costa Rica based Betcris to be its first wagering partner in Latin America, covering Mexico, Central America, and South America. The news comes the part of a stunning reversal of the league’s fierce legal fight against all offshore-based sportsbooks, dating back before the PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) within the US Supreme Court.
As per terms of the agreement, Betcris will have the rights to use official trademarks to promote its NFL sports betting offering and will also gain brand exposure on the league’s digital properties. In addition, Betcris also becomes the presenting partner of the NFL’s “free-to-play Pick’Em game” and the signature partner of the 2021 NFL International Series game held in Mexico.
Lastly, Betcris will also license the NFL’s sports betting data feed, while offering its customers access to territorially exclusive experiential rewards.
Betcris’ efforts seem to be part of a trend toward the US adopted by several large offshore sportsbooks facing growing state legislation in upcoming years. Their Latin American dominance has resulted from the company refocusing its efforts on markets south of the Rio Grande after its 2007 withdrawal from the US betting market following the passage of the UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act).
Their marketing & promotion strategy follows another announcement last week signing on as an official sponsor of Mexico City soccer (football) team Atlante FC. Their first venture began last year, as Betcris signed a four-year sponsorship deal with the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) to become the official sponsor of the Mexican Football Team.
As for the surprising news from the NFL, BetCris CEO JD Duarte said the NFL nod was “the culmination of years of work to make Betcris a household name in Latin America.” Chris Halpin, the NFL’s director of strategy and growth, added “the league’s growing profile in Latin America made it important that we partner with a trusted industry leader in the territory.”
Last week’s equally or if not more surprising news about Costa Rica based bookmaker 5Dimes could signal a peace pipe trend between long-standing adversaries in the US courtrooms. Many have been left in the mysterious wake when 5Dimes announced they will suspend wagering to US bettors in late September. A posting made upon the dawn of their annual busiest time of the season with both the NFL and NCAA College Football kicking off.
It could be this favorable deal between Betcris and the NFL is a welcoming sight to other offshore sportsbooks, offering hope for some sort of compromise into the future. After all, the NFL had been by far the staunchest legal aggressor to prohibit any “legalized OR illegal US sports wagering” and has spent significant dollars against all forms of online wagering. Betcris was specifically named as one of the larger companies succeeding that could potentially ruin the integrity of the NFL game.
Many viewed Betcris as a favorite to achieve this new status with the NFL. It was not their first interleague deal. In July, Major League Baseball opened the gates, welcoming Betcris as “the right gaming operator to extend MLB’s Latin American efforts”. It is anticipated the long-standing company will be aggressive in seeking other alignments into the future.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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