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NFL inks first leaguewide gambling sponsorship

The NFL draft has evolved over the years Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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Historically, the NFL’s been staunchly against gambling, so much so that 10 years ago, it was refusing commercials by cities where betting was legal. Then, last year, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that banned commercial sports betting, and MLB, the NBA and the NHL jumped at the opportunity by inking partnership deals with gambling companies. Those leagues signed deals designating MGM Resorts International as their official casino sponsor — and to share league data with MGM’s sports books. Now the NFL has partnered with casino operator Caesars Entertainment as the league’s first official casino sponsor. That deal focuses on the casinos as entertainment destinations and explicitly excludes betting on football. But sports betting observers think the NFL may soon follow the other leagues’ lead and expand its partnerships with gambling companies.

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