Except for times when they are scheduled for Pro Bowl-related events, the union and league agreed that players who participate in activities in Las Vegas would be considered to be on personal time for the purpose of the betting rules. Players might enter casinos and place wagers on games other than sports. However, they were never granted access to a sports book and were prohibited from placing wagers on sporting events. Both the NFLPA and the NFL agreed that the agreement was only applicable during Pro Bowl week and would not affect the CBA or betting policies for any other NFL video game or event.
You can add this to the growing list of issues that have actually followed the NFL’s business-driven acceptance of gaming and partnerships with various sports books, all the while attempting to prevent players, coaches, and referees from betting on NFL games and undermining the integrity of the outcomes.
The fact that in many places people can legally place bets from their mobile devices hasn’t helped the situation. Wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Jameson Williams are just two of the many NFL players who have faced penalties for violating the league’s gaming policy.
It doesn’t help that many players haven’t always thought they had a solid grasp of the many nuances of the regulation governing wagers.
One senior free agent told Kalyn Kahler of The Athletic in early June, “I had no idea” that players were forbidden from betting on other sports while on team premises, the violation that led to Williams’ suspension. I seriously doubt any gamer has any idea what you’re talking about. That’s a really specific case. I applaud the gamers that get that reference.
A second player has said that organisations didn’t do anything to prepare players for the latest sanctions in April.
A seasoned gamer recalled, “They detailed the rule, and to that point I had not remained in numerous group conferences that they took time for it.” It’s just like something out of your compliance training manual. It takes them all of four minutes to do it. In other words, the NFL is not a good bet. You folks get it, right? Nobody ever seems to stay on it.
More and more effort will be needed in the future. With more money coming in, the NFL will provide more nuanced information about its relationship with betting, but this will just make things more complicated for gamblers.