NFL Owners Meeting to Vote on Opening In-Stadium Sportsbooks on Game Day

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
Football news


  • The Washington Commanders built the first in-stadium sportsbooks this year
  • Only 21 teams are in states with legal and operational sports betting
  • The NFL is overwhelmingly popular amongst sports bettors

NFL owners will vote on legalizing in-stadium sports betting at a league meeting Monday.

According to the current guidelines, teams are permitted to have sportsbooks inside their arenas but may not operate them on game days. However, owners are expected to vote in favor of changing that rule to create a more immersive experience and capitalize on the patronage of game-attending fans.

The league first aligned itself with legal sports betting in 2020, when teams were allowed to partner with sportsbooks and erect betting lounges. The rapid growth of sports wagering across the country prompted the impending vote.

Growing momentum

The Arizona Cardinals pushed the first of many dominos related to the NFL and sports betting. In 2021, the NFC West residents partnered with BetMGM to build a sportsbook on their campus, though it was notably not inside of the stadium, which allowed it to remain operable on game day.

The Washington Commanders in January, in partnership with Fanatics, became the first NFL team with a full-fledged sportsbook inside its stadium. The 5,000-square-foot facility is outfitted with 21 kiosks, eight betting windows, and a restaurant.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer summed it up with a Twitter post that said “It’s mindblowing how far things have moved” above a summary of topics that will be discussed at the meeting.

As is standard at NFL owners’ meetings, there must be 24 votes (75% of teams) to adopt change. However, only 21 teams (65.6%) are in states that have legal and operational sports betting markets. 

That discrepancy could work in two ways. First, it could lead to there being more opposing votes than anticipated, or second, it could heap more pressure on local lawmakers to legalize sports betting in states where it is illegal.

The Kansas City Chiefs, for example, have been outspoken proponents of sports betting despite it being illegal in Missouri and have teamed up with other in-state professional sports teams to lobby lawmakers. Although they have not found concrete success, the Missouri House recently saw a sports betting bill receive first-round voting approval.

Necessary support

The NFL is the most powerful sports league when it comes to sports betting. According to data collection and analysis company CRG Global, 81% of online sports bettors submitted wagers on NFL games in the month of October 2022. The only other league above 50% was the NBA at 54%. 

October is an especially telling month since the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football and college basketball were all on, as were golf, boxing, soccer, and other sports.

Notably, the collected data applied to online gambling, which is not legal in all states with sports betting. 

There is also recent evidence that the NFL has a massive appeal on a game-to-game basis and not just from a broader perspective. The American Gaming Association estimated that over 50 million bettors would risk over $16 billion on Super Bowl LVII in February, which was eventually won by the Kansas City Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35.

The NFL itself has sponsorship deals with several gambling sponsors, including Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. The pregame shows on popular networks such as FOX also frequently read betting odds and advertise the sportsbooks which, in FOX’s case, come from FOX Bet.

Broadcasters also frequently read live betting odds such as the live point spread and points total during games. The groundwork has been done, and there is a lot of momentum behind the idea of expanding sports betting within the NFL.

The NFL returns on September 7 and is expected to feature the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, as is customary for defending champs.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.