Roger Goodell may have won Round 1 of his feud with Jerry Jones. But Round 2 could be just around the corner.
The fuse that could re-ignite the battle is the daily fantasy sports site DraftKings.
On Tuesday, an ESPN report confirmed that Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have held on to their investments in the company.
DraftKings is primarily a daily fantasy sports site, and the two owners (per the report) each own less than a five percent stake in the company.
In addition, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy (via an email to ESPN) said that the league’s current policy “enables personnel to own equity interest in an entity that generates less than a third of its revenue from gambling-related operations.”
However, according to a previous report from Yahoo, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said that the organization is looking to increase its role in traditional sports betting markets in the next several years.
This past May, the United States Supreme Court ruled against the NFL and other major sports leagues when it struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. That previous federal statute limited state-sponsored sports betting to primarily Nevada.
After the court’s ruling, New Jersey, Delaware and Mississippi opened sportsbooks.
The NFL fought hard against that ruling, but the league is currently lobbying lawmakers to create federal guidelines and rules to regulate sports betting.
At the moment, DraftKings’ sportsbook is only available in New Jersey.
However, if DraftKings’ earnings from sports betting surpasses the NFL’s current limit, it could force Kraft and Jones to sell off their ownership stakes.
In doing so, Goodell and the NFL could require arguably the two most powerful owners in the league to sell off their respective stakes in the company.
If DraftKings’ investment into traditional sports betting continues to grow at a rapid rate and Jones (and Kraft) stand to lose tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars down the road, it’s possible the Cowboys’ owner and NFL commissioner could be headed for another public confrontation.