Baltimore Ravens and Horseshoe Casino Announce Partnership

Baltimore Ravens Horseshoe Baltimore Partnership

The Ravens’ home, M&T Bank Stadium, sits adjacent to Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in the Southern Gateway Entertainment District.

The Baltimore Ravens and the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore announced an official partnership this past weekend. It is the first-ever agreement of its kind for Caesars Entertainment, the Las Vegas casino company which owns the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

In fact, the sponsorship and marketing deal is only the second-ever such agreement between an NFL franchise and a casino operator. For generations, the National Football League (NFL) has kept its distance from sportsbook operators.

Erin Chamberlinat, the Horseshoe Casino’s General Manager, said at the press conference to announce the deal, “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.”

NFL Approves Team/Casino Partnerships

Back in August, a special subcommittee in the NFL’s league office changed corporate sponsorship policies to allow deals between NFL teams and casinos which host licensed land-based sportsbooks. The new policy allows sponsorships and other advertising partnerships, along with the ability for casino/sportsbooks to buy naming rights for NFL-owned sports stadiums.

Weeks after that decision, the Dallas Cowboys announced they were signing a first-ever partnership with the WinStar World Casino, the world’s largest land-based casino. The WinStar is a tribal casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, about an hour’s drive north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Located just over the Red River which forms the Texas-Oklahoma border, the WinStar World Casino was placed by the Chickasaw Nation as close to DFW as possible. Dallas gamblers flock to the casino, which is why it is the largest (in gaming space) in the world. The Cowboys/WinStar partnership is natural and synergistic.

The Ravens: A Baltimore Institution

So is the partnership between the Ravens and the Horseshoe Baltimore. When the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996 and changed their name to the Ravens (by league mandate), it gave the city its first NFL franchise since the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984.

When the Ravens subsequently won the Super Bowl in 2001 and 2013, it gave Baltimore its first major sports world titles since 1983. The Baltimore Ravens are now an institution in the city.

About the Horseshoe Baltimore

The Horseshoe Baltimore might not have acquired the status of a Baltimore-area institution, but it is a centerpiece of the city’s commerce and pop culture. The casino sits on the city’s south side neighboring the Inner Harbor, Camden Yards (home of the Orioles), and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens.

The 122,000 square foot gaming space is the second-largest casino in Maryland, with a full slate of gaming machines, table games, and a World Series of Poker room (Caesars owns the WSOP). The Horseshoe Baltimore also hosts the 20,000-square-foot Baltimore Marketplace in its casino complex. Baltimore Marketplace features Charm City food outlets, 3 celebrity-linked restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Southern Gateway Entertainment District

Given the casino’s proximity to the Ravens’ home stadium, the two are linked in the popular mind. The Ravens, Orioles, and Horseshoe Casino form a major destination point in Baltimore for entertainment, leisure, gaming, and sports called the “Southern Gateway Entertainment District”.

Kevin Rochlitz, the Baltimore Ravens’ SVP of Corporate Sales and Business Development, said at the press conference to announce the partnership, “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.”

The partnership between the Ravens and Caesars Entertainment is further evidence of the profound effect the expansion of sports gambling in the United States has. The Maryland legislature blocked a move to legalize sports betting in the state earlier this year, but a move is afoot for a 2020 statewide referendum on sportsbook legalization. The smart money is Horseshoe Baltimore, Maryland Live!, and MGM National Harbor eventually will have legal and licensed sports betting.

When they do, Horseshoe Baltimore Casino will be the Maryland casino with the local NFL franchise.