Goodell on gambling: "We remain very much opposed to gambling on sports. …. we want to make sure we're doing what's right for the game."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 19, 2016
At a recent NFL owners meeting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell re-affirmed that the NFL is opposed to legalizing gambling on sports on the federal level. Currently, Nevada is the only state that has legal sports gambling on single-sport events. Nevada also just approved a $750 million in public financing for the Raiders to move to Las Vegas.
These comments came at a recent NFL owners meeting, according to Dustin Gouker at LegalSportsReport.com. From Gouker’s article:
Even if the NFL were to allow the Raiders to move to Las Vegas — which still requires a vote by the owners and appears to be a pretty big “if” — it doesn’t necessarily mean much for the NFL’s stance on gambling.
The league already puts on several games a year in London, where sports betting is legal and widely available, and that hasn’t changed its stance. Should the Las Vegas Raiders become a reality, the league might asking regulators for Nevada sports betting to tell the bookmakers that they can’t take wagers on Raiders games.
The past few years have shown a clear conflict in the NFL’s opposition to legalized single-sport event gambling and the league’s partnership with daily fantasy and Goodell’s tacit approval of the Raiders moving to the gambling capital of the United States. A lot of the NFL’s interest in Las Vegas as a possible venue for a franchise is posturing to draw public financing from current franchise homes. With Los Angeles now having a team, Las Vegas is likely the new stalking horse.
NFL franchises and players have partnered with daily fantasy providers FanDuel and DraftKings, which most likely violates the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. ESPN has also partnered with Draft Kings and is openly using betting lines when discussing NFL games.
As time goes we have seen the pressure that the league puts on ESPN to follow the NFL’s brand messaging. The NFL once withheld content from ESPN while the fictional show “Playmakers” was on. Now the league is not publicly opposing the open discussion of sports betting on air.
The league’s stance has publicly been steady but the league’s enforcement of their policy has not been as strict in recent years.