For the NFL, does the UK’s Exit mean Las Vegas is in?Posted by: Charlie Smith
If people who bet on NFL also wagered on political events, they probably would not have seen the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union coming. And while England pulling out of the EU – also known as the Britannicus Interruptus – will not immediately affect the NFL’s business endeavors in that country, football betting fans have to wonder whether the league will indeed have a franchise in London by 2022, as the league’s executive vice president of international Mark Waller and NHL commissioner Roger Goodell were hoping to be the case.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 500 points as a result of the decision, and the British pound’s value is at a 30-plus year lowest. And at least one person has already lost his job, as Prime Minister David Cameron resigned from his post, effective October. However, the three NFL regular season games in London in 2016 are still in place – along with the accompanying ticket sales, sponsorships deals and licensing agreements – which will tentatively become five games per season in three different stadiums by 2018. So fans who bet on NFL will get a little foreign flavoring in their wagering regardless.
Although is still rather early to predict the long-term economic effect of the UK exiting the European Union, a potential recession might make the NFL reconsider its expansion plans, at least as far as Great Britain is concerned. As businessman that they are, the teams’ owners would not want make an unsound investment. For instance, if the league planned on adding an expansion team in England, and at any point before the sale of the franchise is completed, the British economy entered a severe recession, the NFL overall may not be able to secure as much money for the sale of that franchise as they otherwise could. And football is as much a business as it is a game.
All things considered, the so-called Brexit could throw series wrench in the works for people who bet on NFL expanding into Europe. On the other hand, could London’s loss be Las Vegas’s gain? Could this set back mean Vegas football betting fans are closer to getting a team of their own? After all, the NFL brass might prefer to relocate an already existing team – say, the Oakland Raiders – in a city that will soon become the home of an NHL franchise, than going all the way across the pond on a possibly unprofitable business venture (not to mention the logistics nightmare that flying a team to and from the West Coast of the United States might entail.). Only time will tell, and there is always Mexico anyway, which is a whole lot closer.