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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / US Betting News / Commissioner Goodell makes U-turn on NFL sports betting approach

Commissioner Goodell makes U-turn on NFL sports betting approach

Publish Date: 09/10/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s stance on gambling may appear inconsistent and hypocritic to many. Despite the NFL’s historical opposition to legalized sports betting, it now eagerly embraces it as it spreads across numerous states. Goodell defends this shift by claiming they had no other choice.

Recently, Goodell faced questions from Mike Tirico of NBC Sports about the NFL’s stance on gambling. The interview occurred right before the Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs game.

In the interview, Tirico asked if Goodell felt at ease with the league’s handling of gambling as a business entity for certain league members and players, with ten of them facing suspensions this year due to gambling-related issues.

Goodell responded by saying that opposing legalized sports betting was due to concerns about the game’s integrity. He emphasized that maintaining the game’s integrity remained their top priority. The commissioner also mentioned that the Supreme Court’s decision forced them to engage in this area, and it aided in their efforts to educate fans and personnel.

NFL’s unclear relationship with gambling

Initially, the league opposed the expansion of legal sports wagering. However, once the floodgates of gambling revenue opened, it pursued every available dollar.

β€œIf gambling is permitted freely on sporting events, normal incidents of the game such as bad snaps, dropped passes, turnovers, penalties, and play calling inevitably will fuel speculation, distrust and accusations of point-shaving or game-fixing,” Goodell said in 2012.

This contradiction has raised questions about the NFL’s integrity, particularly its strict rules against non-players engaging in sports betting and its seemingly arbitrary regulations for players.

Goodell stressed that the NFL’s stance impacted not just players but also all league and club employees. He considered the whole thing as β€œpretty simple,” andβ€œif you bet on the NFL and you’re a part of the NFL, you’ve got a problem.”

The NFL faces a problem in its approach to sports betting. It simply tells non-players not to bet on any sports and instructs players not to bet on NFL events, only allowing them to bet on non-NFL events while off-duty.

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