ESPN – Two prominent NFL owners have a stake in a bookmaker as the first season with expanded legal sports betting in the U.S. gets ready to kick off.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have retained their investments in DraftKings, sources confirmed to ESPN, even as the company has shifted some of its focus from daily fantasy to traditional sports betting.
Umm yea, no kidding. Robert Kraft is no dummy. He realizes that his family stands to potentially make more money with DraftKings and legalized gambling than they could ever hope to make running a football team. While some want to straddle the fence as gambling is seen as “seedy” it is actually on the verge of being legalized in every state in the country. I can literally see the Everett casino being built from my office window in Boston.
“The NFL has been a staunch opponent of sports betting for decades and remains concerned about its impact on the integrity of the game. The NFL fought New Jersey’s efforts to offer Las Vegas-style sports betting all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
…..because they weren’t getting a cut of the action. The NFL was more than happy to promote and advertise “fake” gambling in the form of fantasy football over the past 15 years because it drove billions of dollars back into the NFL.
Now? Like a bookie, they want the juice on the action.
So for Kraft or Jerry Jones to cut bait now, just because DraftKings changed their position (and millions of dollars of lawyer fees arguing) from “We are NOT gambling” to now saying “um forget all that, we are NOW a sports book” is crazy. DK is going to only become exponentially more valuable with the influx of legalized gambling and I can imagine Kraft didn’t just buy a handful of shares. A guy like that jumped in with both feet and realizes how much money his family could earn in the long run. Thats a smart guy right there.
Also, I will never forget the look of disappointment in Papa Giorgi’s eyes when I told him that Robert Kraft did not actually earn his fortune running the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese empire, rather he made his money in paper products. It was like telling a kid theres no Santa Claus.