By John Hodge
The CFL is a goal-driven league.
That may change over time as the league tries to diversify its revenue streams, but getting more fans to buy tickets to games is a great way to boost short-term income.
A new invoice from MP Kevin Waugh could soon legalize single-event sports betting in Canada, which could revolutionize the way people consume it CFL. MP Michael Kram even believes it has a chance to save the league.
A great way to entice more young fans into buying tickets is to offer exclusive betting opportunities in the stadium. With the ability to play on exclusive lines, prop bets, or prizes, young bettors would be more likely to buy a ticket than watch the game on TV.
Millennials spend a lot of time watching live sporting events on their phones. Take advantage of this by providing fun, interactive gambling opportunities for a unique stadium experience.
Imagine if you had the opportunity to choose a spread and compete against only people in your row or in your stadium section? At the end of the game, a winner could be announced, along with a handsome cash prize. It would be like a fifty-five tie, but funnier, more interactive, and with a certain level of skill.
The personal element of gambling also opens the door to a variety of different prizes. What if you could bet a new jersey or a signed soccer ball and win? Or what if winning a bet means getting a free beer for every person on your line? Successful bettors would be lauded as heroes!
The teams could even arrange with a business partner to make deposits for bettors who buy tickets to games. Many companies are already matching deposits for newbies, but this could be increased or improved for bettors who have purchased a ticket to participate in a live game.
This is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – the league could boost game revenue and encourage younger fans to buy tickets to games at the same time. It's a great win-win situation.
This shift will not come without some changes to the CFL's football practices.
The NFL – a sports betting juggernaut – informs the league on a daily basis about the type of injuries suffered by players, the extent to which each individual has participated in training and the likelihood that these players will get dressed for an upcoming game.
The current guideline on the personnel report (violation report) was adopted in 2017 and threatens “a fine against the club concerned, fines or suspension of the persons involved as well as the possible loss of draft decisions by the club involved” if the requirements are not met. The NFL notes that providing accurate injury reports is "of the utmost importance to maintaining the integrity of the game".
By doing CFLthere is no such policy. Coaches are free to disclose as much or as little information about player injuries as they like, while teams are known to fumble in depth maps to gain a competitive advantage.
If single event sports betting is a major source of income for the CFL, that has to stop. The NFL knows that betting and fantasy sports are great resources for fan interest. Without knowing the status of player injuries or having access to accurate team depth charts, bettors are far less likely to bet on them CFL Games.
If the league can successfully implement HR policies while accepting legalized single game sports in creative, engaging ways, then the sky's the limit Canadian Football League as soon as it returns to the field.