The National Football League on Tuesday named Costa Rican, Malta-licensed online betting company Betcris as the league’s first official betting partner in Latin America. The deal furthers the NFL’s attempt to become a complete global entity. As it gives one of the most recognizable sports betting providers in Latin America a huge win in its attempt to dominate the increasing Latin American market.
Tuesday’s announcement represents the NFL’s second international sports betting partner, along with TAB in Australia. It also represents the second such deal Betcris has signed with a major US sport betting league. Two months ago, it became the Latin American Sports Betting partner of MLB.
A win for Betcris
Betcris will gain immediate rights to use the NFL’s marks and logos throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America. The deal also includes brand exposure on digital properties like NFL.com and the NFL Fantasy app. Betcris also gains the opportunity to partner with the NFL on their official free game Pick’Em.
Betcris will become the official sponsor of the NFL International Series Game in Mexico in 2021, and will also immediately benefit from all-important access to the official NFL data feed for in-play betting.
“We are beyond excited to become the first official sports betting partner of the NFL in Latin America, and we look forward to further enhancing the experience for our users,” Betcris CEO JD Duarte said in the release “This represents the culmination of years of work to make Betcris a household name in Latin America. With this partnership, Betcris now enjoys a great competitive advantage that serves our long-term goals well. The NFL has proven to be an ideal partner throughout this process and we look forward to working together.”
As mentioned, the NFL has worked hard to grow its brand globally. Simply put, the bigger the global reach, the more money that flows into the NFL coffers. Teaming with one of the big dogs in the Latin American sports betting industry was an obvious and necessary step to help the league realize its lofty goals.
Chris Halpin, the NFL’s director of strategy and growth, said that because of the league’s standing, particularly in the growing Latin American market it was “important that we partner with a trusted industry leader in the territory.”
The NFL’s growing acceptance of legal sports betting has been on full display the last six or so months. The league and its teams haven’t been shy about partnering with sports betting providers. The Betcris deal is more indication that the NFL is closer to being all-in on sports betting and has accepted the platform as a part of their growth strategy going forward.
How About a Little Controversy?
Betcris has a past with the sports betting industry in the US. The betting provider actually had a presence in the US. That was until 2007 and the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
That’s was long before the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that overturned the blanket ban on sports wagers in the US. Upon departure from the US market, Betcris spun their users over the Bookmaker.eu – a site that still operates today and boasts some US clientele. The NFL even considered Betcris a threat to the integrity of its games at one point in time.
Betcris has assured those involved that it will not allow any US gamblers to place a wager on their site. That said, there have been whispers about Betcris’ desire to reenter the US market as an attempt to legitimately absorb some of the betting traffic in the exploding American scene. However, it is unlikely to happen because of the providers’ unflattering past stateside.
Betcris going forward
Betcris has just cemented its name as the unquestioned industry leader in Latin America with news of its NFL partnership. Along with their similar MLB deal, they appear to be running away from their competition in the region.
Aligning with the biggest and most successful pro sports league in North America is another step along that path – it may turn out to be the most important one.