NFL Implements Stricter Betting Regulations, Enforces Stringent Punishments

Posted on: October 1, 2023, 08:05h. 

Last updated on: October 1, 2023, 08:05h.

The NFL has made revisions to its sports wagering rules, implementing stricter penalties for players involved in betting controversies. These changes come after a series of suspensions of players connected to sports betting incidents.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during a press conference. The league revised its betting rules. (Image: Associated Press)

The revised policy includes a memo from Commissioner Roger Goodell, outlining the consequences for players who engage in sports betting. Players who bet on their own team can face a suspension of at least two years, while those who bet on any NFL game will be sidelined for a minimum of one year.

“We periodically review the NFL Gambling Policy to ensure that it is responsive to changing circumstances and fully addresses our commitment to protect the integrity of the game,” Goodell wrote in the memo. “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.”

Since the landmark Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, multiple players, an assistant coach, and various league personnel have been suspended for violating the NFL’s betting guidelines.

Positive Impact for Some Players

While some players have faced significant penalties for betting violations, such as Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley, the revised betting policy brings good news for others. Ridley received a one-year suspension for betting on NFL games while he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

Ridley, who is from Florida, placed his bets when tribal gaming giant Hard Rock International offered mobile sports wagering in the state. However, the partnership between the state and Hard Rock was later vacated by a judge, leading to the discontinuation of the mobile betting app in December 2021.

Under the revised betting protocols, players who are involved in infractions of the betting policy for other sports while at an NFL facility or traveling for games will receive lighter suspensions. The penalties for these infractions are a two-game suspension for the first offense, six games for the second offense, and a year for the third offense.

This change in policy could allow players like free agent Stanley Berryhill and Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams to return to action sooner than anticipated.

Politician Shows Support for NFL

Representative Dina Titus (D-NV), whose district includes the Las Vegas Strip, commended the NFL’s revised betting guidelines. Earlier this year, Titus sent a letter to major US sports leagues requesting more transparency regarding betting rules.

“I’m glad that the NFL created a distinction between behavior that threatens the integrity of the game and legal wagering on other sports,” Titus stated. “Penalties for game fixing and betting on one’s own league should be more serious than betting on other sports. Every sports league should remain focused on protecting the product on the field. Leagues should periodically review their policies, in consultation with players, to ensure that rules are understood and updated when necessary.”

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