A second NFL team has reached a marketing agreement with a casino. On Friday, the Baltimore Ravens announced a partnership with the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore located just down the street from M&T Bank Stadium.
Neither the Horseshoe nor the Ravens released financial details pertaining to the deal, but the Baltimore Sun does have some information. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Horseshoe Casino will be given rights to display Baltimore Ravens imagery throughout the casino and to convert its three-level bar, 14Forty, into a Ravens-themed bar.
The Baltimore Sun also reports the deal is not exclusive for the Ravens, who are said to be exploring other arrangements with additional casinos. For its part, the Horseshoe Casino already has plans in place to hold special promotions such as giving away trips with the Ravens on the team plane.
In a press release, Baltimore Ravens Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Business Development Kevin Rochlitz said this:
“Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has become a popular destination, particularly for Ravens fans before and after our home games. We’re enthused about this partnership and believe it will further enrich the entertainment appeal surrounding M&T Bank Stadium. Additionally, we feel it will help contribute to the exciting development taking place throughout the area.”
Second NFL-Casino Agreement of Its Kind
The Baltimore Ravens and Horseshoe Casino agreement is the second agreement to be reached between an NFL team and a casino in recent weeks. Last month, the Dallas Cowboys and WinStar World Casino and Resort announced a similar marketing agreement that will involve the Cowboys hosting team events at the casino among other things.
Neither the Cowboys nor the Ravens are located in a state with legal sports betting. Even so, both teams have chosen to take advantage of an NFL rules change in August allowing teams more latitude to form marketing partnerships with casinos.
Maryland has no sports betting at the moment, but lawmakers have floated the idea as recently as February. Additionally, pressure from surrounding states may motivate lawmakers to push harder on sports betting. Since the Supreme Court’s May decision to strike down PASPA, nearly every neighboring state has jumped on the opportunity. Maryland is practically surrounded by sports betting at this point.
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey have all passed legislation to legalize sports betting. Even Washington D.C. is getting in on the act. As neighboring states draw residents from Maryland across state lines to casinos with sportsbooks, lawmakers will have an increasingly difficult time justifying just letting all that money leave the state.
There is clearly interest in bringing sports betting to Maryland. Earlier this year, the Maryland House easily passed a bill calling for a referendum on legalizing sports betting. That bill died in the General Assembly, but some lawmakers are intent on reintroducing the bill in the next legislative session that if passed could put the issue on the 2020 ballot.
Even if it is some time before Maryland gets around to legalizing sports betting, the deal offers plenty of benefits for both parties. M&T Bank Stadium and the Horseshoe are less than a mile apart and serve as the anchor points of the planned Southern Gateway Entertainment District that’s already in the works.
However, the Baltimore Sun reported this deal “does not cover the possibility of Maryland eventually ushering in sports betting.” That statement is more than a little vague, but either way, increased cross-promotion between the Horseshoe and Baltimore Ravens should drive additional traffic between the two.
Here’s what Horseshoe GM Erin Chamberlin said about the deal:
“It is an honor for us to officially partner with our neighbor, the Baltimore Ravens. We are two strong Baltimore brands that are committed to the city and the region. We both offer a unique entertainment product with broad and complementary appeal. And, we share a common commitment to transforming the southern gateway into an unrivaled entertainment district that adds renewed energy and excitement to the area.”