The first ever NFL-branded slot machines will be developed for casino floors.
The National Football League has struck a slot machine licensing agreement with Aristocrat Gaming for the manufacturer to produce not only slots with NFL themes but also a non-exclusive license for virtual sports games.
Both deals are the first of their kind for the NFL. The slots are expected to appear on casino floors in 2023.
"The world of casino gaming is transforming, and the NFL is thrilled to be teaming up with industry leader, Aristocrat Gaming, with their proven track record in slot machine innovation and commitment to responsible gaming," Rachel Hoagland, NFL Vice President of Gaming and Partnership Management, said in a media release. "Today's slot machines offer engaging experiences akin to popular video game consoles that our fans adore, and we believe with Aristocrat's vision, we can bring that exciting gaming experience to fans on the casino floor looking to show their love of football."
It was not long ago that the league distanced itself from gambling as much as it could (at least officially). But in 2019, the Dallas Cowboys became the first NFL team to reach a sponsorship deal with a casino, the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma. Now several teams have either casino or sports betting partnerships, there’s a team in Las Vegas (the Raiders), and the first NFL-themed slot machines are on their way.
The start of the NFL season, as predicted, has helped sports betting handle and revenues reach record proportions in several states. In September, New Jersey became the first state ever to surpass $1 billion in sports betting handle for one month, reaching $1.011 billion. That broke New Jersey’s state and national record of $996.3 million, set in December 2020.
Nevada ($786.5 million), Michigan ($386.8 million) Indiana ($355.4 million) and Iowa ($210.4 million) were also among several states to set handle marks in September with the regular season getting underway.
Now NFL fans can anticipate another way to connect with their favorite sport and engage in a gaming activity at the same time.
"At Aristocrat, we are changing the game. In that spirit, we are thrilled to enter this agreement with the NFL, whose similar mission made this a natural partnership," Hector Fernandez, President of Aristocrat Americas and EMEA, said in the release. "Fans worldwide love watching the NFL, and casino players worldwide enjoy Aristocrat games. This agreement presents a new opportunity to reach tens of millions of NFL and Aristocrat fans with exciting new entertainment options on the casino floor and beyond."
Jim Tomlin has more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports. He now lends his expertise to Casinos.com, among other duties.Read Full Bio