The first NFL football team which will offer a gambling-focused telecast of their matches will be the Washington Redskins. They announced offering cash prizes to spectators who would correctly preestimate in-game outcomes during the preseason.
The Washington Wizards, NBA neighbors of the Redskins created a formula which will be followed by the telecasts on the regional cable network NBC Sports Washington. During the regular season, the Wizards offered the free-to-play games. At the same time, the Redskins will have them only during their four preseason matches, when NBC Sports Washington owns TV rights.
The main channel will continue to offer a traditional telecast. And the gambling-focused telecast will air simultaneously on NBC Sports Washington Plus, their secondary channel. Damon Phillips, the NBC Sports Washington general manager, mentioned that the Wizards provided the other telecast on eight matches this season. And they were pleased to see fan engagement and excellent ratings.
Phillips also added that launching the interactive telecasts would allow NBC Sports Washington to be ready to the availability of legal mobile and online sports betting in its viewing area. Theoretically, the network could accept wagers in real-time on offered bets provided during the telecast if it is in partnership with a sportsbook. We can expect that online casinos in Canada will also take advantage of these possibilities and players at such popular gambling platforms as Spin Palace Casino Canada will soon be able to bet on sports using these methods.
The NBC Sports Washington general manager said that the network was fully prepared for challenges and ready to respond to all changes which could be introduced by the different regulatory entities as for sports betting. Today, all games can be played for free. And the sports network will provide a $1,000 prize in cash to one winner per quarter of each game.
Philips acknowledged that gamification of television broadcasts was the way of the future. And the first step related to this process was made by the NBC Sports Washington.
This year, although the regulations have not been polished and no sportsbooks have opened, sports betting in Washington was legalized by the District of Columbia Council. For legalizing sports betting in Maryland and Virginia, drafts of a bill have been applied. Now, we expect to approve this bill by voters in a referendum in those states.
West Virginia and Delaware, which are in the viewing area of the NBC Sports Washington, are among the ten states where legal sportsbooks are already operating. However, there are no states where mobile or online betting is currently available.
Historically, the National Football League has stood against the implantation of gambling in their games. However, they publish injury reports that sportsbooks take into account to set point spreads. They also embrace daily fantasy sports, where gambling fans bet on the performances of individual players rather than outcomes of a match.
Major League Baseball, as well as the NHL and NBA, have been more interested in introducing sports betting in states where it is legal. For this reason, they have started a collaboration with sportsbook operators.
This year, Caesars Entertainment became the first casino sponsor of the National Football League, but the deal does not include sports betting or fantasy football.