Goodell: NFL eager to engage fans through legalized sports betting

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell News Conference
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For most of its history, the National Football League has done everything in its power to avoid the appearance that there’s any connection between football and gambling. That has changed dramatically in recent years.

In announcing the NFL’s new television contracts on Thursday, Commissioner Roger Goodell highlighted gambling as one of the reasons football is a valuable media property, and he said the NFL is continuing to look at how it can do more to appeal to people who bet on the game.

“We’re going to find ways we can engage fans through legalized sports betting,” Goodell said.

That is an enormous departure from where the NFL used to be with gambling, a sea change in the NFL’s approach. But the NFL recognizes the opportunities to attract more fans through gambling. The NFL has the right to opt out of its new TV deals after seven years, and if an increase in the number of people betting on games results in more viewers, the league’s next TV deals could be even more lucrative.

Gambling has always been part of the NFL’s appeal. But now the NFL is embracing that, unlike ever before.

45 responses to “Goodell: NFL eager to engage fans through legalized sports betting

  1. Get ready to wager your money on a league that can’t figure out what a catch or pass interference is.

  2. He could just come out and say “we are looking forward to yet another method of extracting cash from fans.”

  3. That is great, however, sports betting is not legal in all states, which is hilarious. Why is it government gets to tell us all how to spend our money

  4. Ever since legal gambling’s spread, the time between a flag being thrown and the call being made on the field has increased drastically. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed.

  5. The nfl greed death spiral continues. Cuban was right, this league will be out of business with in a decade. Its just all greed now.

  6. Yesiree, can’t wait to wager on games refereed by flawed human beings who choose Sundays to feed their egotism and god-complexes (and soon their pockets). What could possibly go wrong? The games will “remain” on the up and up, right? Right? The NFL won’t become the WWF, right? Right?

  7. $4 billion drop in revenue & empty stadiums has a way of hitting the reset button on the league’s

  8. dangguy says:
    March 19, 2021 at 7:26 am
    Goodell: the worse NFL comissioner ever. The ownees are too blind to see it.
    Blinded by money maybe. They are making money hand over fist with Goodell in charge. Couple that with a weak players union run by the overmatched D. Smith and the owners have nothing to complain about.

  9. What could possibly go wrong?

    Dont want to come the stadium? Fine we will seek the gambler for our cash.

  10. With the pandemic slowly moving to our societal rear view mirror, seems like Roger just going back to his highest bidder mentality.

  11. Pressure on the NFL forced the Washington Football Team to change their name. I think it would be very appropriate to change the name of The National Football League to The National Greed League.
    I mean, is there anything they wouldn’t do to make more money?

  12. And what of the REASON gambling was anathema to sports? There was a reason it was bad, but since gambling’s legal now…it’s gone away or something?
    No one cares that suddenly we see a rash of historically- reliable kickers have a single game where they miss everything they kick? No one cares that we suddenly see so many more drops from receivers? No one cares that we see so many more games and scores decided by refs?

  13. This will a be a $25B a year league in no time, certainly by their target of 2027. As said in another post, Goodell is doing exactly what the owners hired him to do–make them more money even if they never sell their franchises.

  14. That sound you hear is Pete Rozelle rolling in his grave and Paul Tagliabue falling off his rocker.,.

  15. “Cuban was right, this league will be out of business with in a decade.”

    Well he said it in 2014 so he has 3 more years to be “right”.

    Even with the ratings being down for 2020 – which I think is unquestionably a bad sign – Cuban’s quote was nonsense.

  16. Because of Defensive Holding Gate Bowl, I would only consider betting on NFL games after Roger Goodell has retired as commish.

  17. What are the advantages to gambling??? What does it do to help advance the game??




  18. Under Goodall, the NFL offseason is basically June. The league dwarfs all others and dominates the sports landscape. They make a ton of money and have become culturally very influential. Sports gambling is here to stay so the league might as well embrace it.

  19. “Legalized” gambling really means … What percentage can the NFL get from each bet? They need their cut

  20. cardiovascularendurance says:
    And by “engage,” he means take more of their money.


    None of the money the NFL has received from fans was taken. It was all given to them freely by fans.

  21. Let’s be honest; betting on a game makes watching it more fun. I live in Ohio, so I can’t legally bet on a game here, although there’s a casino just up the road in Cleveland where I can bet ’til I’m broke. So I look forward to betting legally in an NFL-run sports book.

    Another thought: When the NFL gets into the bookie business, and it will, that will put the operation in direct competition with Fan Duel and other legal wagering sites that already exist. If the NFL undercuts the vigorish at those sites, say a 5% vig instead of 10%, this will obviously pull bettors by the droves from those sites. Yum. More money for the owners. Lots more.

  22. The owners and the league itself are making money hand over fist so what do they do? They lower the salary CAP so they don’t have to pay the players as much money. They’re about to gorge themselves on massive amounts of income from the next TV deal plus they’re adding a 17th game to increase revenue. When is the Players’ Union going to say “enough is enough?”

  23. All this hand wringing. I hate to break it to some of you but billions are already being bet on the NFL (legally and otherwise) every year and it’s not going away. How many states have legalized sports betting already? The NFL wants in on the action. It’s a logical business move.

  24. The original script probably sounded more like “CHA CING!!!”

    “engage the fans through legalized sports betting”

    Wonder how long he had to practice to say that without laughing.

  25. The NFL only cares about money, period. Nothing else matters to the owners or the players.
    If you hear any player ever say he cares more about winning than money, call him a liar. Because he is doing just that.
    Why else would we see players signing free agent contracts with teams which are perennial losers?
    It is all about the money, folks. End of conversation.

  26. This should be interesting… so the HQ office (one guy) makes the final call on close plays in replay that can (and often do) shape the outcome of the game. I wonder if he’ll be peaking over his shoulder to see what the NFL’s stake in the outcome of the call/ game might be? And the lawsuits that will follow? Throwing guys out of games, # of game suspended for a key player for conduct (etc.)… could impact the line mid season for those fools who predicted their team to make (e.g.) playoffs. Guys who fake injuries during the game to stop the clock and impact the outcome, bad calls, poor clock management, perceived players “dogging it”. Judicial injunctions while lawsuits play out… let the games begin!!!!

  27. “The nfl greed death spiral continues. Cuban was right, this league will be out of business with in a decade. Its just all greed now.”

    New $110 billion TV contract. Yeah, there’s really a death spiral.

  28. I can’t imagine how this could POSSIBLY undermine the credibility of the league or the integrity of its competition. Not at all.

  29. If MLB goes down this same road, will we ever see Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame…???

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