In a first, the National Football League (NFL) recently announced that it would allow advertising for Las Vegas casinos during its postseason games, including the Super Bowl, the biggest advertising event in the United States.
The move is a sharp turn for an organization that has, in the past, come out harshly against gambling in all forms. In fact, the NFL is one of the main supporters of the UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, the hotly debated law that seeks to outlaw Internet poker and online casinos in the U.S.). In addition, the NFL is among the organizations that lobby most to ensure online gambling remains prohibited.
“Under the modified policy, tourist destinations that allow gambling, such as Las Vegas, Reno or Lake Tahoe in Nevada, will now be permitted to advertise during NFL games from Jan. 4, 2010, to Feb. 28, 2010,” reports the Associated Press. (Read the article here.)
Is this a sign that the NFL is warming up to the reality of gambling — and is perhaps slowly leveraging itself to reap the profits in the event that online gambling becomes legal in the United States (an idea that’s been getting some momentum lately)? Or is it perhaps just a poorly considered act of hypocrisy from one of the United States’ most powerful entertainment organizations?