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PointsBet Named ‘Approved Sportsbook Operator’ By National Football League

James Murphy
by in NFL on
  • Australian based/US facing sportsbook PointsBet has been named as an ‘approved sportsbook operator’ by the National Football League (NFL).
  • This is essentially a ‘second tier’ sponsorship deal with the NFL below ”Official Sports Betting Partner’ status.
  • In addition to the league’s imprimatur, PointsBet gains access to official league data and promotional opportunities.

The US operations of Australian based sportsbook PointsBet has been named an ‘Approved Sportsbook Operator’ by the National Football League (NFL). PointsBet has been very aggressive at forging partnerships with sports leagues as well as individual teams. They’ve also established a very tight promotional relationship with NBC Sports–PointsBet is the ‘exclusive sports betting partner’ of the TV network across many different platforms. The ‘Approved Sportsbook Operator’ status begins with the forthcoming 2021 NFL season.

The NFL doesn’t miss a trick when it comes to revenue generation and that definitely applies to sports betting. They monetized their data rights in a deal with Genius Sports worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion USD. They’ve also signed on several ‘Official Sports Betting Partners’ including Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel. It looks as if PointsBet is part of a secondary tier of sportsbooks that are essentially paying the league directly for official data and advertising access to a variety of NFL properties. The usual caveat with all deals of this sort–there’s no firm data on the cost/benefit relationship of being an ‘Approved Sportsbook Operator’ versus being an ‘Official Sports Betting Partner’ versus not having any type of official league status at all. There may be some type of ‘seal of approval’ in the eyes of recreational bettors but there’s yet to be any proof of that. There are a variety of reasons that bettors patronize certain sportsbooks–favorable odds, ease of use, sign up bonuses, brand recognition, etc.–but few are likely to consider a book’s promotional relationship with a league, team or player.

On the other hand, PointsBet could be making a smart play with their ‘Approved Sportsbook Operator’ status relative to the higher tier ‘Official Sports Betting Partner’. They get whatever credibility that the NFL logo conveys, access to official league data and brand visibility and ad opportunities on league digital and broadcast properties. All of this presumably comes with a smaller price tag than the ‘Official Partner’ status. At any rate, here’s what PointsBet gets out of this from the press release announcing the deal (PDF):

The relationship provides PointsBet with sponsorship opportunities and brand visibility via unique ntegrations across various television and digital assets, including NFL owned networks as well as their full suite of media partners. PointsBet also gains use of official NFL data, ultimately enhancing the customer experience.

It was just over a month ago that PointsBet announced a deal with newly retired NFL quarterback Drew Brees and they mention this in the latest press release along with their partnership with NBC Sports (PDF):

Earlier this year, PointsBet announced that NFL all-time great and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees officially joined the team as a brand ambassador. Brees, who this season is transitioning from his legendary career as a quarterback to a broadcasting career with NBC Sports – PointsBet’s official sports betting partner – will deepen the NBC Sports and PointsBet relationship, particularly within the sport of football.

As the official,exclusive sports betting partner of NBC Sports, PointsBet will utilize the media giant’s premium television and digital assets to promote the PointsBet brand during NFL events. As part of the agreement, NBC Sports provides PointsBet with year-round, multi-platform media and marketing opportunities across its unmatched portfolio of events, including exclusive multiplatform gameday integrations across NBC Sports Regional Networks. PointsBet’s full Spanish-language functionality will reach Hispanic sports fans via Telemundo Deportes and Telemundo broadcast stations.

One thing PointsBet *doesn’t* get out of the deal is a press release quote from the NFL offices. That’s OK, since PointsBet USA chief executive Johnny Aitken is arguably the best sportsbook press release quote generator in the game:

“The PointsBet team is excited to become an approved sportsbook operator of the NFL leading into the 2021/22 season, as the relationship will be a cornerstone for PointsBet to provide the fastest and most comprehensive in-play betting experience in the world. Through our fixed odds and unique PointsBetting platform, we seek to offer the most NFL pre-game betting options.“This relationship now complements that pre-game offering with a heightened in-play experience as we continue to expand our national footprint on a more seamless and reliable app across every customer touchpoint,”

PointsBet might not have the huge media footprint of companies like DraftKings or FanDuel but they’ve done a remarkable job establishing themselves as a player in the US sports betting market. They’re currently live in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Jersey.

UPDATE: A bit more on the secondary ‘approved sportsbook operators’ NFL designation from SportBusiness.com:

For the NFL, the news follows April’s announcement of the addition of Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel as its first official sports betting partners.

PointsBet will sit below these brands in the second tier of NFL approved sportsbook operators, alongside FoxBet. According to reports in Yahoo, BetMGM and WynnBet are also set to join this tier.

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