NFL stiffens gambling policy for players with six ‘key rules’ after recent spate of violations

The NFL has stiffened its gambling policy for players by introducing six ‘key rules’ after a recent spate of violations.

The NFL told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that the six rules are:

1.            Don’t bet on the NFL;

2.            Don’t gamble at your team facility, while traveling for a road game or staying at a team hotel;

3.            Don’t have someone bet for you;

4.            Don’t share team “inside information;”

5.            Don’t enter a sportsbook during the NFL playing season; and

6.            Don’t play daily fantasy football.

“It comes back to, in large part, a couple of rules that have existed as long as anybody can remember,” Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy said. “Don’t bet on the NFL. That’s not new because sports gambling is more available. That’s always been the case. And don’t bet when you’re at work, wherever work happens to be in that moment. That’s existed for a long time.”

Miller said all rookies are required to attend a mandatory educational session on gambling and league officials are visiting teams in-person to talk about the rules on sports betting.

Earlier this month, Indianapolis Colts player Isaiah Rodgers Sr. took “full responsibility” after reports said he is being investigated by the NFL for possibly breaching the league’s gambling policy. Rodgers added he made an “error in judgment.”

In April, the NFL suspended five players for violating the league’s gambling policy. Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore of the Detroit Lions and Shaka Toney of the Washington Commanders were suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games during the 2022 season. Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams of the Lions each received a six-game suspension for placing bets on non-NFL games from NFL facilities.

In March, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley was reinstated by the league after a year-long suspension for gambling on NFL games while he was a member with the Atlanta Falcons.

“The world has changed over the last few years,” Miller said. “The availability of our phones and a couple of touches, and all of a sudden, you can place a bet on many different things,

“So, sports gambling has a great deal more presence in people’s lives than it did just a few short years ago, which means for us as sports league where integrity of the game is the highest single principle that we have to be thoughtful and careful and scrutinize how we share information and educate people around the rules that govern it.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the gambling issues at the Spring League Meeting in Minnesota last month.

“We have concerns about legalized sports betting,” Goodell said at the May news conference. “We’ve always said the integrity of the game is number one, two and three for us and so we focus on that every single day.

“I think the fact we have people who have violated that – obviously we know that education isn’t foolproof … We all have to be vigilant on that, we’ll continue to do that – if we see someone who has violated, you’re gonna know about it. I think that’s the most important thing is to enforce it consistently.”

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