NFL Players Plan to Push for Change to Betting Rules

The NFL’s delicate money grab/finger wag about gambling has created plenty of confusion and consternation. The ensuing “do as we say, not as we do” vibe has sparked discontent among players who are subject to rules that seem inconsistent and nonsensical.

For that reason, NFL players plan to push for a change to the rules prohibiting wagers on sports other than NFL football.

Bill King of Sports Business Journal explored the issue last weekcollecting quotes from various players who want the rules to be relaxed.

“I feel like the rules are outdated,” Falcons defensive end Calais Campbell told King. “There was a time where it made sense, but now with technology and being able to bet on baseball or basketball on your phone, I don’t understand why just because I’m in a locker room or on a Wednesday or whatever, that I can’t pick up my phone and [bet].

“Nobody wants to have a guy betting on football. That’s not OK. But, you know, with technology the way it is and you can tell exactly what people are betting on, and you know it has nothing to do with the integrity of the game, why not give us this opportunity to be able to make money when we’re doing that as a league?”

The flaw in Campbell’s comment is that players will make money. It’s not like stocks, where there’s a realistic path to profit. The house always wins, over time.

Still, there’s no valid reason why they should be prevented from betting (losing) on other spots, especially since they can do it in the offseason when not in the facility.

It would be far cleaner and simpler for the league — which has the exclusive right to make the rules on gambling without union input — told players that they can engage in no sports wagering of any kind during their NFL careers. When these issues first came into focus last year, Chris Simms made a very good point regarding this rare instance in which the league grants rights to players when it has no obligation to do so. The sports book companies that sponsor the league, and which the owners are permitted to partially own, arguably want young men who have plenty of disposable income and an unrelenting passion for competition to gamble (lose) big money while betting on other sports.

The partial prohibitions make no sense. If players are allowed to place legal wagers at certain times and in certain places, it can’t be a threat to the integrity of the game if they do it at times and places that the league currently prevents.

In a world of illegal gambling, it makes sense to prohibit player involvement because: (1) it’s not legal; and (2) racking up debts to the mob could result in players being leveraged for information, or more. With legalized wagering, it’s all done on the phone, with cash the player currently has access to. There’s no steep debt to the bookie that can be paid off by, for example, throwing an interception at a key moment in a close game.

So, yes, if the league will allow players to wager on other sports some of the time, the league should allow it all of the time. If it’s not a threat to the integrity of the game when and where it’s currently allowed, it can’t ever be one.

2024-02-21 15:48:44
#NFL #players #gambling #rules #change

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