The Jets and 888 Ignite Gambling Sponsorship Row
by Glenn Baird - November 1, 2018
The New York Jets are the first NFL team to sign a sponsorship deal with an online betting company, with critics claiming that the pairing has already seen an improper promotion of sports betting.
The deal was announced earlier this week with “888” banners unfurled outside the MetLife Stadium for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears .
Up until this season there had been a long-standing ban on sponsorship deals between NFL teams and casinos. Whilst the Jets are the first team to strike an agreement with an online betting company, both the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens have penned deals with land-based casinos.
What makes the deal with the Jets so much more infuriating for anti-gambling campaigners is the fact that the Jets are based in a state where sports betting is legal and on top of all this it is still illegal for NFL teams to have sponsors that promote sports betting for fear of impact that this could have on those attending the games.
The Jets get around this problem because they do not mention 888sport, only the mother company 888.com. This has led to criticism with certain opponents of the deal claiming that the Jets and 888 are flaunting a loophole that allows a backdoor into sports betting.
The New York Post claims that, “When one enters the 888.com website, the first thing they see is an image of a football player being tackled and a link to bet on games.
“To me, this crosses the line,” said one source familiar with the sponsorship deal, which is scheduled to be announced later this week.”