The NFL typically avoids anything any association with gambling, even though the league knows that plenty of people bet legally or otherwise on the outcome of games — and that millions play fantasy football for money, which makes it gambling, too.
But even as the league sues New Jersey to prevent the expansion of gambling to include NFL games, the Redskins have publicly announced support for Question 7, a Maryland ballot measure that, if approved, will allow the construction of a casino.
“As members of the Prince George’s County business community, we see it as our obligation to speak out in support of major economic-development initiatives,” Redskins president of business operations Dennis Greene said, via the Washington Post. “We believe Question 7 represents a tremendous opportunity . . . to create thousands of good-paying jobs, increase funding for public schools, and help provide dollars for other critical state and local government services.”
The Redskins didn’t seek league approval before making their announcement, but NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that approval wasn’t necessary.
“So long as a proposed casino would not include sports betting, there is nothing in our league guidelines that would prohibit a club from supporting this type of ballot referendum,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Post.
Still, the Redskins’ reasoning could be applied to what New Jersey hopes to do by allowing gambling on NFL games. Gambling expansion always is aimed at creating jobs and raising money.
So, at a minimum, the whole thing looks more than a little hypocritical.
Of course, that bridge already was crossed when the NFL approved the use of team names and logos for scratch-and-lose lottery tickets, a get-rich-quick scam that preys on those who need the extra few dollars the most.