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The Fortune that will Bind Arena Football and Prominence

Guest Writer
Wednesday August 31, 2016

In general, the casino industry has always been a lucrative business – at the very least, a profitable one. There’s just this distinct aspect between man and machine, and the varying fortunes that bind the two. Based on numbers by the American Gaming Association back in 2012, commercial casinos in the United States welcomed 76.1 million players and made $37.34 billion along the way. In addition, gaming revenues in the country generate more profits than the film and the music industry combined. Furthermore, casinos’ earnings even beat the four major sports leagues’ in the US.

It’s a simple premise, actually. We lose, they win; we win, they still win. There may be a negative connotation to it, but the fact of the matter remains: other than the monetary rewards, casinos provide one-a-kind entertainment throughout. Now, to take things a step further, we don’t have to look further than its digital counterparts, or the up-and-coming yet already flourishing online gaming industry. Many Internet operators make the most of their creative freedom by incorporating eye-catching themes to the equation. Others, in the same mold as Betfair, include sports motifs such as in the Soccer Rules! game, ice hockey, and tennis-themed titles to appeal to a vast audience. Essentially, it shouldn’t come as a surprise how this relationship between sports and casinos even go beyond the realms of the worldwide web.

Other than the usual boxing and mixed martial arts fight cards at hotel casino arenas, the gaming industry have successfully penetrated various sports leagues and organizations in the nation. For one, before selling the UFC for 2,000 times more than their initial investment – according to a Forbes article, brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta were major players in Las Vegas’ casino scene. Back then it gave a relatively new spectator sport, like MMA, a platform to showcase a different form of combat. Another perfect example would be Scott Butera’s venture in Arena Football League. Before climbing up the ladder of success as the CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, Butera played Division III football as a defensive end for his school, Trinity College. In a way, this may have played a role in his full-time shift from casino executive to arena football commissioner. For him, it’s a challenge, an opportunity to translate his relative success in the gaming commerce, into profitability and cultural relevance for the AFL.

Scott Butera’s mission and vision for the AFL is clear. Since his establishment as the seventh commissioner of the indoor football league, he always emphasized on increasing consumer awareness for the brand to truly grow. Like Frank and Lorenzo, Butera put his casino experience and knowledge to the test, by rolling a dice on a promising venture such as arena football. Everything makes sense, though, a calculated risk if you will, as with casinos, business owners, athletes, and almost everyone under the sun have a decent shot at success.

The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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