The NFL is tightening its gambling rules for players who bet on their own teams, as revealed in a memo obtained by ESPN from Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday. Goodell emphasized their regular review of the NFL Gambling Policy to adapt to changing circumstances and maintain the integrity of the game.
“The revised gambling policy that we are issuing today provides that clarity and focus, and gives clear guidance to players about the consequences of violating the policy,” Goodell said.
Under this new policy, players face a minimum two-year suspension for betting on their own team and at least a one-year suspension for betting on any NFL game. Additionally, if players bet on non-NFL sports while at a team facility or during team-related travel, they will receive a two-game suspension for the first violation, a six-game suspension for the second, and at least a one-year suspension for the third.
The league also will permanently ban anyone caught trying to manipulate games for betting purposes. Sharing insider information to help others bet will lead to indefinite suspensions, with a minimum absence of one year.
Due to the policy change, Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams and Tennessee Titans OT Nick Petit-Frere will return on Monday, as NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported. Initially, both Williams and Petit-Frere had two weeks left on their six-game suspensions.
Williams’ father, James, told ESPN’s Eric Woodyard that the family was surprised by Friday’s news and feels “great” about the reinstatement.
“I was praying for it, and normally when I pray for things for my children, it normally comes to fruition,” James said.
“Everybody kept telling me that the NFL don’t do this and the NFL don’t do that, but Roger is a great guy, man. I love Roger.”
Several players, including Lions WR Quintez Cephus, Washington Commanders DE Shaka Toney and three members of the Indianapolis Colts, had previously faced indefinite suspensions under the prior policy for betting on the NFL. They intend to seek reinstatement after the 2023 season.
Twelve players, at least one assistant coach and an undisclosed number of league personnel have been suspended for violating the NFL’s gambling policy since 2018.
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Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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