Is NFL hypocritical or hypervigilant in betting punishment?

Sixty years after Paul Hornung and Alex Karas received full-season suspensions for betting on football games, gambling is as much an NFL thing as mock drafts, tailgates and the Super Bowl halftime show. It’s part of the spectacle.

The Raiders are now rolling the dice from the Las Vegas Strip, and Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics announced they have signed a binding agreement to purchase land for a ballpark near Sin City’s famous casino.

Gambling is no longer a pariah, it’s big money maker for the NFL, and the NFL has some lucrative sponsorships at online gambling sites and even brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at one of its stadiums.

So, as millions of NFL fans are always encouraged to suspend some players to bet on football games and other sporting events from their mobile phones, legalized betting is Are there two sides to a league that has been so receptive?

“I think it’s hypocritical,” said former Steelers/Bears quarterback Jim Miller. plug.

“Soon you will be able to bet on (most) NFL stadiums,” added Miller. “Having said that, the players know the rules very well. They hold seminars and stuff locker rooms to educate them.”

The NFL suspended five players last week for violating the league’s gambling policy. Lions receiver Quintess Cephas, safety CJ Moore and Commanders defensive end Shaka Tony were suspended until at least the 2023 season for betting on last season’s NFL games. Lions receivers Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams each received a six-game suspension for betting on a non-NFL game from an NFL facility.

“The NFL has always had a proactive approach to players and gambling,” he said. I told my teammates that I knew I was with a friend who would do it and I said I couldn’t do that anymore.”

That was before the airwaves were flooded with commercials about fantasy football bets, real final scores, and even live-action odds.

The Washington Commanders have a sportsbook inside FedEx Field, and the Jets, Giants and Cardinals all have sportsbooks just outside the venue. NFL owners voted at their annual meeting last month to allow teams to use their sportsbooks inside stadiums in states where gambling is legal, so that number will grow quickly.

Since a landmark Supreme Court ruling a few years ago, gambling has been legalized in 33 states, meaning 17 NFL teams are allowed to host online sportsbooks. increase. The other 15 teams are not worried as their earnings are capped at a certain threshold above which all 32 teams will share the profits.

Former Bengals linebacker Larry Stevens said, “It’s just a joke that the NFL and its teams profit from gambling, but players can’t gamble.” The inconsistency is also a joke, as long as they gamble in non-NFL games, men have been suspended for giving the league blatant black eyes and beating their wives and girlfriends .”

League spokesman Brian McCarthy noted that players are actually allowed to bet on non-NFL sports, unlike coaches and other employees of the NFL and its teams.

The NFL prohibits on-the-job betting for employees of all leagues and clubs. This includes practice facilities, stadiums, team his hotels, draft or other league or club events, club charters or other means of transportation, and even while endorsing or promoting. exterior.

Even March Madness’s office pool isn’t allowed.

All this is to ensure the integrity of the game. Because America’s most popular league could collapse if the public begins to question the fairness of the competition.

Chris Altruda, a senior analyst at Sports Handle, a news agency that covers legal sports betting in the United States, said, “It makes sense that the league would ban players from betting on NFL events.” I think the event should allow NFL players to do that, but I understand the league’s hang-up on optics about allowing players to gamble on team premises.”

So how will the league know that a player is gambling while at work?

“It’s a mystery,” Altruda said.

For more information on how they monitor players for compliance with the league’s gambling restrictions, McCarthy said, “The NFL uses a variety of tools to monitor for violations of our gambling policies. These include resources and services, as well as internal measures.” It is provided by our partners to ensure that you have the most comprehensive information possible. ”

“The NFL has always maintained a robust integrity and compliance program backed by policy, education, oversight, and enforcement. We confirm that it is suitable to protect the integrity of the game.”

McCarthy said the league provides gambling policy education and training to “all 32 club players, coaches, staff, NFL league officials and other stakeholders, including vendors.” . policy. “

Former Washington and Detroit offensive tackle Jon Jansen puts the blame on players who should know better than risk getting caught in gambling.

“The integrity of the game is central to what the NFL sells to networks, sponsors and ultimately fans,” said Janssen. “Players love that the salary cap continues to rise. Players will continue to make more money thanks to television deals and many partnerships, including partnerships with casinos and sportsbooks.

“If they don’t like the rules they collectively agreed to, they can negotiate and change the rules at the next CBA,” Jansen added. “The average career is a little over three years. If you can’t follow the rules of your career at the expense of it, it doesn’t matter that much to you and someone else should and will be given the chance.”

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