LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — What a difference two decades make.
There was a time not that long ago when the NFL wouldn’t allow Las Vegas to run television ads during the Super Bowl.
The year was 2004. Las Vegas was pumped to host the biggest Super Bowl party in the world. Every casino was filled to the brim with screaming fans and then the National Football League stepped in.
The NFL, which some called the "no fun league" in those days put the kybosh on everything Vegas because they hated sports betting.
Casinos couldn’t charge a dime for Super Bowl parties, couldn’t even use the words Super Bowl on the marquees and they even limited the size of TVs that could be used for the game to no more than 55 inches.
Las Mayor Oscar Goodman had some choice words for NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue when I interviewed him 20 years ago.
"It just seems to me that this guy is a mean guy!", said Goodman.
Most NFL insiders agreed with the league. I talked to former iconic quarterback, Archie Manning, the father of Eli and Peyton, about gambling on NFL games in 2015.
"There’s no place in the NFL for gambling", he said.
That was then and this is now.
Archie Manning’s attitudes about sports betting have certainly changed. He and his sons are taking money to promote gambling on NFL games in these ads for the Caesars Sports betting app.
Why the sea change in attitudes about Las Vegas and betting on sports? Simply put, the nation changed. With gambling becoming more socially acceptable. The NFL could see the writing on the wall and instead of fighting the casinos, they decided to join them.
It used to be only Nevada, but now you can place a legal bet on the Super Bowl in more than 30 states. With more states soon following suit.