Following in the Dallas Cowboys’ footsteps, the Baltimore Ravens have forged an official partnership with the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, becoming the second NFL team to strike such an agreement since the league decided in September to permit marketing deals between casinos and its teams.
The Horseshoe Casino, a Caesars Entertainment property, is walking distance to the Raven’s M&T Bank Stadium — less than a mile down Warner Street.
Ravens’ and Caesars’ executives announced the deal on Friday alongside Ravens’ Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden. Like the Cowboys’ deal with the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma, the second-of-its-kind deal designating a casino as an official team partner will permit the Horseshoe to use the Ravens’ team marks and logos for on-site promotions, according to the release on the Ravens’ website.
Baltimore Ravens Enter Into Multi-Year Agreement With Nearby Caesars’ Horseshoe Casino, Which Becomes Official Casino Partner
The Baltimore Sun reports that it’s a multi-year agreement, but terms of the deal otherwise were not disclosed. Through the partnership, 14Forty, Horseshoe Baltimore’s three-level feature bar, already tinted in Ravens colors, will become a Ravens-branded bar.
The Sun also notes that the agreement does not specifically contemplate legal sports betting, but it’s certainly on the mind for 2020.
The Maryland House of Delegates in March passed a bill that would have put sports betting legalization to Maryland voters in the November general election, however the measure did not reach the state’s Senate floor. A state Constitutional amendment and referendum is required to legalize sports betting. The next such opportunity to do so is November 2020.
Meanwhile, Baltimore’s neighbor to the south, Washington D.C., held a hearing just last week as a bill to legalize sports betting in the nation’s capital appears likely to advance to vote in the full D.C. Council.
Chairman of the D.C. Council’s Finance & Revenue Committee, Jack Evans, said, “It’s my view that over the course of the next several years, sports betting will be legal across the country,” adding that he wants the District to move soon toward passage to avoid falling behind Maryland and other neighbors, as it did with traditional casino gambling.
Evans also wondered why the NFL has been largely absent from the conversation. MGM’s President of Interactive Gaming, Scott Butera, said at the hearing that a few select NFL teams, rather than the league office, will be the pioneers for pro football in the sports betting space. The Ravens have become one such pioneer.
In September, the American Gaming Association commissioned a Nielsen Sports study that found the league and its teams could reap an additional $2.3 billion annually in connection with legal sports betting, in part attributable to advertising and private partnerships.
“We’ll see what the state of Maryland does as it goes through the approval process,” said Kevin Rochlitz, the Ravens’ SVP of business development, regarding sports betting. “It’s to be determined. Right now, we’re going to take it one state at a time and take this partnership and develop it.”
Expect other teams and casinos, in other states, to follow suit.