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NFL urges lawmakers to intensify efforts against illegal betting

Publish Date: 08/05/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The NFL has recently addressed concerns regarding the league’s gambling policies. The league sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, urging lawmakers and law enforcement to intensify efforts against illegal gambling.

In the letter dated Friday and acquired by The Associated Press, NFL vice president of public policy and government affairs Jonathan Nabavi conveyed that the preeminent commitment at the NFL revolves around upholding the game’s integrity. The league also indicated its collaborations with integrity monitoring services to detect and rectify policy breaches.

While focusing on the legal sports betting market, the letter indicated that the NFL perceived a distinctive responsibility for Congress and federal authorities to take enforcement measures against unauthorized operators. Notably, the league has been actively underscoring the significance of federal involvement in this domain.

The letter also emphasized the need for lawmakers and law enforcement to focus more and allocate resources to address illegal sports betting. This is crucial because the unlawful betting industry remains influential due to its well-established position.

Titus deems NFL’s response disappointing

On June 15, Titus directed a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. She sought an overview of the league’s policies after a series of recent suspensions associated with gambling within the league.

“When players get suspended, and coaches get fired, that means the system is working,” Titus wrote in the letter. “The goal, however, should be to stop these bets before they are placed.”

On Friday, Titus criticized the NFL’s reply to her inquiry. She highlighted its failure to address the number of ongoing investigations into suspicious sports betting activities.

Titus also expressed her concerns about upholding game integrity amid the growing trend of legal sports betting. She had contacted various leagues, including the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA, seeking details about their internal betting-related policies, education, and enforcement.

Titus found the NFL’s response disappointing, veering to discuss illegal sports betting rather than directly addressing her queries. The move raised suspicions of hidden motives behind their stance.

Titus had also engaged with leaders from other sports leagues and the NCAA. In response, NCAA President Charlie Baker disclosed that since 2018, they had identified 175 violations of their sports-betting regulations and were actively investigating 17 cases.

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