Horseshoe Casino Baltimore Signs Partnership Deal with Baltimore Ravens

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore Signs Partnership Deal with Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League has signed a partnership agreement with the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The news was announced Friday, Oct. 19 and marks the second such arrangement between a professional American football team and a casino since the NFL relaxed the rules around signing deals with gambling companies in September.

About the Deal

The recently inked agreement was announced jointly at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Maryland by Baltimore Ravens Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Business Development Kevin Rochlitz, Ravens’ Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, and Horseshoe Casino General Manager Erin Chamberlin.

Under the terms of the deal, the Horseshoe will be able to use Ravens logos and intellectual property at its gaming location, while the casino’s on-property bar, 14Forty, will become a Ravens-branded outlet. The Horseshoe will also become the sponsor of the “Legendary Moments and Plays” video segments, which are shown on the scoreboard during Ravens games, and the casino’s logo will now be featured around the stadium.

In addition, there are plans to incorporate the Baltimore Ravens within the Horseshoe’s loyalty program. For instance, new VIP cards will have Ravens images printed on them, and customers who play regularly will have the opportunity to win Ravens-related prizes, like trips aboard the team’s plane.

Two Strong Baltimore Brands

Rochlitz from the Ravens declined to discuss the financial aspects of the agreement, but did comment on the deal, saying:

“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.”

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Horseshoe Casino, Chamberlin remarked:

“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.”

Location, Location, Location

As both Rochlitz and Chamberlin alluded to, their organizations are geographically very close to each other. Indeed, the Horseshoe Casino and M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens play their home games, are less than a mile apart. This proximity makes their partnership more sensible than it would be were the two enterprises separated by a greater distance.

Case in point, the Horseshoe is already a popular destination for gameday ticket-holders before and after their time at the stadium, and many fans park their vehicles at the Horseshoe and then walk to the stadium to take in the action on the gridiron. This is possible due to an agreement between the casino and the team dating back to 2014 in which the Horseshoe allocates a portion of its parking spaces for sports fans attending Ravens games. Now, new co-branding opportunities enable further revenue to be derived from this source of traffic.

Entertainment District

CBAC Gaming, the partnership group that owns the Horseshoe, has already begun a program of improving the real estate surrounding its gambling casino, buying up vacant lots and repurposing them. Its goal is to improve the Warner St. corridor and transform the district between the casino and the Baltimore Ravens’ sports stadium into an “Entertainment District.” As Arthur Adler of Caves Valley Partners, one of the company’s involved in CBAC Gaming, explained earlier this year:

“When you leave the stadium and go to the casino, there’s a lot of vacant buildings. We want to activate it.”

The Horseshoe’s arrangement with the Ravens dovetails nicely with this strategy, bringing an additional stakeholder on board in order to beautify and enhance the commercial value of downtown Baltimore. Erin Chamberlin further expressed her optimism that their common commitment to revitalize and transform the southern gateway will help grow the partners’ respective customer bases, and turn it into a great place to visit before or after games; “There’s fun things to do, a lot of great bars, a lot of things to come and see either on game day or other days for sure,” commented Chamberlin.

Sports Betting in the Cards?

Although there’s no sports betting currently taking place at the Horseshoe or any other Maryland casino, it’s undoubtedly in the back of the minds of everyone involved in the Ravens deal. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court in its Murphy v. NCAA decision ended the federal prohibition on this type of wagering, allowing individual states to legalize the industry if they choose. It’s this possibility of sportsbook tie-ins that’s now driving gambling facility owners into the arms of NFL and other sports franchises.

Maryland’s constitution prohibits commercial gambling apart from limited carve-outs for casinos that were approved by the voters in 2008. In order for sports betting to be allowed, an appropriate constitutional amendment would therefore have to be given the OK by state’s voters. All efforts to put the question before the electorate this year have failed, though, and the soonest it could be placed on the ballot is November 2020.

In almost every state that has introduced sportsbook licensure, those companies that already provide gambling are among the first to receive licenses. Thus, it’s highly likely that if betting on sports should become legal in Maryland, the Horseshoe Baltimore would be in a good position to capitalize on the development.

According to a Nielsen Sports study in September, legalized sports betting could contribute as much as $2.3 billion per year in additional revenue to NFL teams. The deal with the Horseshoe Casino is an attempt by the Ravens to ensure that it won’t miss out on this potentially lucrative stream of money.

Harbinger of More Partnerships?

The Baltimore Ravens has indicated that the club is exploring its partnership options with other Maryland casinos, although nothing certain has been confirmed yet. Perhaps more interesting is the Horseshoe Casino side of the equation. You see, the Horseshoe is half-owned by Caesars Entertainment, which runs more than three dozen casinos in the United States. As it evaluates how the Ravens agreement is performing, it may therefore look to sign further deals between its gaming centers and other sporting franchises.