The National Football League is among the strictest sports league in regards to their policies on sports betting. Players, officials, and executives are not permitted to engage in gambling activities and the league is very strict in regards to enforcing these policies. Fines and or suspensions can result from those that violate these policies.
The main question that fans ask when they hear these policies is “why does the NFL care so much about gambling?” The answer to this question centers around the leagues concerns over potential game fixing. Their concerns are that if their players, officials, and executives become involved in the gambling world, certain criminal elements could potentially influence them to fix games. As such, they are essentially worried about the purity of games.
When talking about players that could be easily influenced, we aren’t necessarily talking about the superstar players who make Millions each year. While they can be influenced, it is the rookies and non-superstar players just starting their careers that could be the most vulnerable in something like this. The league minimum for rookies will be $405,000 in 2013 and a second year pro will make $555,000. Consider taxes and other expenses, these players could get find themselves in a situation to be influenced if not careful.
The only instance where the NFL seems to back off of their gambling policies is in regards to charity poker tournaments. With the exception of an event that was held at the Golden Nugget casino last year, the NFL has allowed their players to play in charity poker events. The reason behind this is that these events do not award any type of real money prize to participants. All the money collected goes to charity, and as such there is no monetary influence on anyone involved.
Stories have appeared on this site and others in the past about the dangers of pro athletes getting addicted to gambling or getting in trouble over gambling habits. The NFL may have a strict policy regarding gambling, but their stance is one that they have taken to protect both their players and the integrity of their game.
by: Andrew Perry