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Goodell: NFL’s opposition to legalized sports gambling isn’t changing


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell affirmed Friday that the league remains committed to opposing further legalization of sports gambling.

“As you know, we fought legalized gambling, sports gambling, for a long time, most recently here in New Jersey, and I would see our position in the same vein going forward,” Goodell said.

Goodell’s response stemmed from a question about the league’s support of fantasy football and distaste for sports betting.

“We don’t put fantasy football in that category at all,” Goodell said, referring to gambling.

Goodell relayed a story of a father and teenage daughter bonding over fantasy football and playing in the same league.

“Fantasy has a way of people engaging more with football, and they do it in a fun, friendly, in this case, a family manner,” Goodell said.

Sports betting is legal in four states, most notably Nevada. Just short of $99 million was legally wagered in Nevada on last year’s Super Bowl, according to the state’s gaming control board.

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22 Responses to “Goodell: NFL’s opposition to legalized sports gambling isn’t changing”
  1. floratiotime says: Jan 31, 2014 12:51 PM

    There’s more betting on football than any other sport in the country. But if you really want to take a stand against gambling then have your owners divest themselves of any holdings in casinos and horse racing.

  2. completefan says: Jan 31, 2014 12:53 PM

    Roger’s fictitious family can play fantasy football in a family manner. Most practitioners of the sport of fantasy football do it for cash.

  3. ravanator says: Jan 31, 2014 1:00 PM

    The only sure bet is the Ravens will come back next year stronger then before, go undefeated, and win out third Lombardi. I have spoken.


  4. realitypolice says: Jan 31, 2014 1:01 PM

    I would love to know how much money comes into the league under the table from Nevada casinos. It’s the only explanation for their bizarre position on this issue.

    The idea that they would spend millions in legal fees over the years fighting legalized sports betting out of some sense of morality is laughable. When has the league ever voluntarily taken the moral high ground on anything?

    This continued ban on gambling has to making them money somehow. It’s the only logical conclusion.

  5. granadafan says: Jan 31, 2014 1:06 PM

    Goodell continues to put his foot in his mouth and the hypocrisy over fantasy football. People bond over sports betting as well as fantasy. Just shut it, Roger and put the Super Bowl back in a warm city.

  6. flannlv says: Jan 31, 2014 1:07 PM

    What about London? There are betting parlors just outside and kiosks in the concourse at Wembley Stadium. Goodell is so disingenuous.

  7. thoff1525 says: Jan 31, 2014 1:07 PM

    I can’t state this with certainty…but doesn’t’s fantasy football have a section for fantasy commissioners to keep track of league “dues”. AKA money fantasy owners still owe. What does the NFL think those dues are for? Fines for fantasy helmet to helmet contact?

  8. randomdudeontheinternet says: Jan 31, 2014 1:08 PM

    “Goodell relayed a story of a father and teenage daughter bonding over fantasy football and playing in the same league.”


    I saw that episode of the Simpsons too, Roger!

  9. chaney13 says: Jan 31, 2014 1:10 PM

    The NFL will support legalized sports gambling, the same way they decide to support anything else, ** as soon as they are able to find a way to get a significant piece of the pie**. … just like they do with state sponsored organized gambling (a.k.a lottery games)

  10. Slim Charles says: Jan 31, 2014 1:10 PM

    Goodell would be fine with sports betting if the NFL could get a taste. I like how he’s unable to even articulate a clear reason why they oppose it. Also, I bond with my old man by talking about the lines every week, so I guess I just have a cool family.

  11. grndizzle says: Jan 31, 2014 1:14 PM

    Playing Fantasy Football without having money involved is like playing poker with fake chips.
    Why bother.

  12. datd00d says: Jan 31, 2014 1:17 PM

    Question: why does the NFL care about sports gambling?

    Do they want football fans to keep their money so they can continue spending it on NFL-related things?

  13. joetoronto says: Jan 31, 2014 1:18 PM

    What a pile of crap.

  14. grndizzle says: Jan 31, 2014 1:18 PM

    I should have told Goodell the story of how me and my Father bonded when he let me do Parlay cards when I was 11.

  15. trollhammer20 says: Jan 31, 2014 3:15 PM

    Yeah, the NFL is anti-gambling, wink wink nudge nudge say no more.

    And yet, they insist that teams provide them with detailed injury listings so that gamblers will have a better idea how to bet, and also insist that players have contact with the media so that gamblers can get something of a glimpse into the inner machinations of a player’s head.

    “The Last Boy Scout” was ridiculously over the top, but it had a grain of truth: Gamblers drive this league a lot more than many people, especially those in the NFL’s front office, would ever care to admit.

  16. karlpk says: Jan 31, 2014 3:18 PM

    This sport is all about gambling for pity’s sake – without gambling what fool is watching the Jags or any number of other mediocre teams play on a Sunday afternoon – Goodell is really full of it isn’t he?

  17. rcali says: Jan 31, 2014 4:12 PM

    When the NFL can find a way to get a piece of the action, they’ll be more than happy to expand it to all states. Hey, it took awhile for Casino’s to get advertising in the football stadiums and now you can’t miss the signs. Just offer the NFL some money and you’ll have your deal.

  18. buckleback says: Jan 31, 2014 5:46 PM

    He should see how many father-son combinations bond over betting on game. It would dwarf the amount that bond over fantasy.

  19. cometkazie says: Jan 31, 2014 7:03 PM

    Trollhammer20 and Karlpk hit the nail on the head.

    No gambling, no NFL.

    It’s been that way for decades.

  20. txnative65 says: Feb 1, 2014 2:56 AM

    The legal gambling industry, as huge as it is, is chump change compared to bookies and offshore illegal outlets. These interests and their clients have no desire to change the status quo either, and have to pay taxes and possible royalties, and be subject to regulation. It would go the way the numbers racket was taken over by Lotteries.

  21. jburk003 says: Feb 4, 2014 5:00 PM

    The NFL does not want to have gambling become legal because it would have to be regulated and investigated! This is why the NFL spend millions a year to fight against betting because of morality issues; yet, hundreds of people get DUIs each year(even killing someone in the case of Dallas’ Josh Brent) and yet the biggest NFL sponsors are BEER companies.

    This same controversy is going on in Europe right now with regards to Soccer. Fixing scandals are being uncovered because now rigged games are being investigated.

    The NFL does not wan’t their fixes, I mean games, investigated and regulated by an agency to ensure the safety to betting that LEGAL gambling would require.

  22. kcalumnus says: Oct 6, 2014 10:09 PM

    Damn, a non-profit, legalized gambling business that claims no responsibility for its damaged goods (older players health issues). It’s a great gig if you can get it…. Oh that’s right you CANT it’s also a private monopoly. Am I the only one that sees a problem here?

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