fter years of treating gambling as a boogeyman, the National Football League has slowly cracked the door on it. The Bills are ready to run through that door and start grabbing the money that’s behind it.
According to Tom Precious of the Buffalo News, officials from Pegula Sports and Entertainment (which owns the Bills and the NHL Sabres) were working the state assembly, with the goal of getting in-stadium gambling approved. A measure to allow online sports betting in New York is being discussed
Team representatives were in Albany yesterday to make sure they were heard by state government. They’ve also hired a lobbying firm for $7,500 a month to work on the issue.
"Several legislative items are currently under consideration that could have an effect on our business operations and the fans’ gameday experience. As always, our fans remain our number one priority," company spokesman Don Heins said in a statement. They did add that those lobbying efforts were unrelated to their stadium project.
Sports gambling has been approved for four casinos in New York, but more legislative work would be needed to approve the kind of online sports wagering that would allow fans to bet from their seats.
NFL owners know that gambling is the next great frontier (of revenue), which is why they’re working to make sure they’re in on it.