One new feature we most certainly could see at Ford Field at the start of the 2020 NFL season is an in-stadium “sports betting lounge.”
It will not exactly be your traditional “sportsbook,” but it should allow fans within a specific area to bet on the Lions and all of the other NFL action on a typical Sunday in the fall.
What will it look like?
Betting windows and betting kiosks will not be available in these lounges.
But you will likely see dozens of TVs set to the NFL Red Zone, accompanied by betting lines and prop bet options tailored to whichever online sportsbook in Michigan coughs up enough money to sponsor such a thing.
It’s easy to envision something like “Ford Field Sports Betting Lounge – Sponsored by William Hill.”
Chris Halpin, the NFL’s chief strategy and growth officer, touched on what these lounges will look like when speaking to ESPN last week.
“We’re allowing betting lounges,” Halpin told ESPN. “Similar to daily fantasy lounges today, in an adult, discreet area, there will be a betting setup, but we’re not going to have betting windows.”
Baby steps toward a full-fledged embrace
The NFL is clearly easing its stance on sports betting, though it is unlikely that there will be much pomp and circumstance from the league surrounding the gradual introduction of sports betting culture.
Roger Goodell and crew are no doubt right now monitoring what is going on with the XFL, a league that has fully embraced sports betting.
Announcers on XFL broadcasts openly talk about the game’s spread, point totals and even prop bets.
On the XFL TV broadcasts the game’s spread is clearly visible at all times.
“We feel good about how [sports betting culture] has evolved state by state,” Halpin told ESPN. “We’re more and more excited about how sports betting is developing and we’re now doing more in the space. We’re very positive about how it’s developing.”