The NFL Enhances Investigation into Violations of its Gambling Policy
In an effort to uphold the integrity of the game, the National Football League (NFL) is currently enhancing its investigation into a new wave of possible violations to its gambling policy perpetrated by players of the league.
This recent probe comes roughly a month after the suspension of five players following a verdict that found them guilty of betting on NFL games. These players were Detroit’s Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore and Stanley Berryhill, and Washington’s Shaka Toney and Jameson Williams.
While Berryhill and Williams were suspended for their team’s first 6 regular season games for placing bets while present at an NFL venue, the other three players were suspended indefinitely through at least one year for their involvement in wagering on NFL games during the 2022 season.
It is true that the NFL has established official partnerships with three prominent sportsbooks: Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. This is why we often see advertisements for sportsbooks and betting apps during NFL games, and even see these sportsbooks operating within football stadiums.
So how could officials discipline players so harshly for a behavior they promote through partnerships with these major sportsbooks?
Well, for decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy. And even though these recent partnerships may seem hypocritical on their part, the fact that the league supports sports gambling but disallows its players from gambling on sports is not necessarily contradictory.
Since the league’s collective bargaining agreement includes a standard contract that explicitly prohibits betting on NFL games, the league has all the right to suspend players if they ever were to violate this policy, regardless of whatever partnership the NFL has or may have in the future.
Ned Ehrlich, Associate General Counsel for the NFLPA, shed light on the investigations and how the league is managing to stop other players from continuing this behavior, stating, “During the NFL’s investigations, we have learned that these apps are highly sensitive and very sophisticated at tracking, among other things, user location to be sure that people using the app are not ‘prohibited gamblers’ and/or that the person using the apps is in a location where they are allowed to place bets on the app.”
To aid in their efforts, the NFL also relies on third-party companies and geolocation services. These resources are crucial for identifying any players who may be violating gambling policies or placing bets from unauthorized locations such as team facilities.
Following the recent suspensions of the five previously mentioned players, the NFL faces the task of reviewing potential instances of sports betting misconduct. As part of their annual training, the league emphasizes the importance of understanding and adhering to the gambling policy to its vast workforce of over 17,000 employees, but unfortunately, this continues to be an issue.
It’s believed that there are several other players from different teams of the league who will soon receive suspensions for also breaching the NFL’s gambling policy; however, specific details regarding the nature and extent of the ongoing violations under review have not been disclosed.