For decades, the number one roadblock standing in front of regulated sports betting in the United States was the National Football League (NFL). This well-known collective of billionaires argued that legal wagering would destroy the integrity of the game and, ultimately, lead to the demise of their entire business model.

NFL team owners were so scared of regulated sports betting that they unleashed an army of lobbyists on lawmakers in Washington and generally threw their considerable weight around in an effort to keep legal sports betting off the books. But, as it turns out, their fears were decidedly unfounded.

Now that sports betting is legal in more than 20 states, thanks to the Supreme Court, NFL team owners have seen the value of their franchises actually increase. According to a recent report from, the average value of an NFL team has actually increased by 11 percent since states were granted the right to offer regulated sports betting to their citizens.

At the top of the list of most valuable NFL teams is the Dallas Cowboys, sometimes known as America’s Team because of their far flung fan base, which Forbes valued at $5.5 billion. That number is up about ten percent over last year and the team pulls in about $420 million a year. Even the cheapest NFL team, the Buffalo Bills, will set back buyers $1.2 billion. But even the lowly Bills have seen their value increase 19 percent in the last year.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is fairly open about the value that regulated sports betting is adding to his fortunes. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports he described the situation saying, “Betting and wagering has been an integral part of the NFL for a long time. My town versus your town. It’s always been a benefit to the viewership.”

Turns out legal sports betting isn’t so bad after all.


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