As betting on sports becomes more and more legal, the NFL is working hard to make sure that it can police and monitor the wagering activity. This involves beefing up its in-house technology, dedicating security personnel and partnering with sportsbooks and integrity firms. The league also has a new network that allows it to see all bets placed on NFL games, how they are placed and who made them.
Until now, the NFL and other professional sports leagues have been reluctant to embrace legal betting, fearing that it would open the door to attempts to fix games for gambling purposes. One of the most famous examples is Joseph Sullivan, who paid eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox to lose the World Series. The players, including baseball legend Pete Rose, were banned for life from the game as a result.
The NFL has now changed its stance, with Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that the league is “open to any legitimate and responsible” opportunity for legalized sports betting. Several teams have already signed sponsorship deals with sportsbooks, including the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL.
The league’s rules against official betting prohibit any player, team staff member (including coaches and managers) or tournament official from making a bet on a match or event that they are involved with, or which they have the ability to influence. It is also against the rules for anyone to offer, accept or solicit a bribe to fix a match or event.