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Will Las Vegas team provide ammunition for suspicious minds?


The Duke Johnson phantom fumble at FedEx Field represents the kind of outcome that allows those who like to speculate that NFL games are fixed to attach the tin-foil hat and begin the barrage from his mother’s basement.

And that’s without the NFL doing business in a city that embraces all forms of gambling.

What happens when a questionable call happens during a game in Las Vegas, or involving the team headquartered in Las Vegas? What happens when there’s a bad call involving any team once the league pounces onto the third rail with glee?

Consider Super Bowl 50. When Cam Newton doesn’t dive on the loose ball, it was assumed that he was making a “business decision.” If/when the NFL moves to Las Vegas, some will be inclined to suspect that a player in this situation has made a different kind of “business decision.”

Regardless of whether there’s zero merit to the suspicion, the question is whether the league can afford to allow the perception to fester that gambling may in some way be influencing one or more of the many heat-of-the-moment decisions made during an NFL game.

With broader business considerations (starting with $750 million in free money for building a stadium) causing some to support the move strongly, others will be raising concerns like these in the coming days, weeks, and months — especially since Raiders owner Mark Davis already has tried to back his partners into a corner by declaring that Las Vegas will be the next home of the team.

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38 Responses to “Will Las Vegas team provide ammunition for suspicious minds?”
  1. Paper Lions says: Oct 15, 2016 10:20 AM

    The idea that you have to have a team in LV for their to be an influence of gambling on game outcomes is kinda stupid because:

    1) Historically there has been plenty of influence throughout the country regardless of the legality of gambling

    2) Historically, effects of gambling on games has NOT been associated with legal gambling, but with illegal gambling

    3) This is 2016. Geography is irrelevant to influence. What? Because bookies don’t have phones, the internet, or access to transportation?

  2. irongoats says: Oct 15, 2016 10:21 AM

    Only you Mike only you

  3. lewsblues says: Oct 15, 2016 10:22 AM

    nah … as you said, questionable events already occur …

    in today’s world, you don’t have to be in Vegas to participate in these kinds of things. It’s probably better if you aren’t on the team in Vegas if you choose to cheat that way.

  4. charger383 says: Oct 15, 2016 10:31 AM

    Isn’t the great debate going to be there? If Vegas is OK for that, thee can be no question about things there being about reproach

  5. cometkazie says: Oct 15, 2016 10:32 AM

    Get out the popcorn.

  6. pastabelly says: Oct 15, 2016 10:43 AM

    The physical location of a football game will have little to do whether gambling elements are involved.

  7. ocgunslinger says: Oct 15, 2016 10:47 AM

    “Regardless of whether there’s zero merit to the suspicion, the question is whether the league can afford to allow the perception to fester that gambling may in some way be influencing one or more of the many heat-of-the-moment decisions made during an NFL game”.

    That’s a valid concern. The perception that the NFL is trying to influence the outcome of who makes the playoffs with players being wrongfully ejected and suspended with no basis of fact is putting the game’s integrity in harm and causing a loss of fan support.

  8. majormeatcurtains says: Oct 15, 2016 10:48 AM

    Most people believe that hookers are legal there so,.. Yeah. Conspiracy minds want to know.

  9. jstamper3377 says: Oct 15, 2016 10:50 AM

    Good God, what are you talking about. This is 2016, with today’s technology gambling is literally at your fingertips no matter where you are. What possible difference does it make it a team is located in Vegas? There are gamblers and “book makers” everywhere.

  10. hippieway says: Oct 15, 2016 10:56 AM

    Stir it up, because there isn’t enough stupidity in the world yet.

  11. darthvincent says: Oct 15, 2016 11:00 AM

    for the NFL… the integrity horse has already left the barn

  12. therealraider says: Oct 15, 2016 11:11 AM

    If the league tries to circumvent the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas, it will be determined in a court of law.

  13. wrongowright says: Oct 15, 2016 11:12 AM

    I haven’t heard any of this type of conspiracy theory concerning any of the games played in London.

  14. joe6606 says: Oct 15, 2016 11:13 AM

    Most people already think games are fixed. Being in vegas isn’t going to change anything

  15. kissmytaintpatriotswinagain says: Oct 15, 2016 11:18 AM

    The only worry the other 31 owners will have is getting some of that 750 million through a relocation fee.

  16. rickster81 says: Oct 15, 2016 11:29 AM

    Wow. That is a reach. There are horrible calls every week. Can we pin that all on gambling?

  17. chicagosportsfan11 says: Oct 15, 2016 11:31 AM

    I really hope the Raiders stay in Oakland and the Chargers stay in San Diego. I have nothing against having a team in Las Vegas but would rather those two cities keep their teams.

  18. antneejay2 says: Oct 15, 2016 11:39 AM

    The league isn’t concerned about reality. It’s concerned about perception; as in the perceived integrity of the game. If the owners were concerned about genuine integrity, they wouldn’t have chosen a common hoodlum to be their commissioner. Most of them wouldn’t have bought an NFL team in the first place.

  19. v2787 says: Oct 15, 2016 11:49 AM

    Whether a team is in Vegas or not, people are gambling on the games. It’s a major American pastime. And sometimes the officials’ calls will go your team’s way and sometimes they won’t. I’d hate to think that gambling has anything to do with those calls one way or the other. However, the NFL will definitely need to be consistently vigilant to avoid even a hint of impropriety in this area.

    One of the things that the league definitely should do is hire full-time officials. That way it will be easier to monitor their behavior and impose sanctions if any suspicious behavior is noted. Plus, you’ll have better-officiated games in general. I still can’t believe the world’s richest sports league doesn’t have full time officials. That’s nuts.

    Vegas is a unique city, and I think the NFL will do well there. The gambling thing is going to happen whether the league is in Vegas or not, so locating a team in that town is a good move. Frankly, the Raiders are the ideal franchise for Vegas. They’ll fit right in there, and the world will come to the desert to support the team. (Besides, what adult doesn’t want to go to Vegas? It’s a great place to have fun. I’ve been there many times and I love the town.)

    It’s a shame that Oakland can’t get the stadium thing done, but that’s how it works with the NFL these days. You build a stadium for the team or else the team moves away. If you want a franchise, you work with the league to keep the team happy in your city. If you don’t care to do that, then the team will relocate to a city that will do whatever it takes. That’s the reality. Vegas is willing to do what it takes, and apparently Oakland isn’t. So, it looks like it’s gonna be the Las Vegas Raiders. Works for me.

  20. turtlehut says: Oct 15, 2016 12:08 PM

    The Jets and Giants play in New Jersey
    Atlantic City is less than 2 hours from Met Life Stadium
    Empire City Casino is less than 20 miles from Met Life
    ergo these teams are under the control of gamblers.

  21. imodan says: Oct 15, 2016 12:24 PM

    Ya, because we all know Vegas isn’t already crap deep into the NFL already. We don’t need more ammunition, we see it every week.

  22. jag1959 says: Oct 15, 2016 12:27 PM

    jag1959 says:
    Oct 15, 2016 10:31 AM
    “What happens when a questionable call happens during a game in Las Vegas, or involving the team headquartered in Las Vegas?”

    The same type of idiots that don’t seem to understand that gambling, drugs and prostitution are readily found in every NFL city will put on their tin foil hats again of course, that is provided the trolls have left them any tin foil. Because it’s a natural assumption that gambling and undue influence only happen where it’s legal right? Look at London, this is a non story that those opposing having a team in Vegas want to be the story.

    The sad truth is many of us are beginning to doubt the results of the games and it has nothing to do with gambling. Have you noticed the ratings drop?

  23. wafflestomp says: Oct 15, 2016 12:37 PM

    Just listen to the Barneys in Minnesota and their weekly rants against the Packers about biased refs and fixed games, they firmly believe in the NFL conspiracy theories already.

    It’s especially funny when their pretty yellow pigtails slip out of their tinfoil hats.

  24. mmack66 says: Oct 15, 2016 12:42 PM

    The NFL is already in bed with gambling interests, so why should moving to Vegas change anything?

  25. weepingjebus says: Oct 15, 2016 12:56 PM

    We have already seen corrupt refs and players in various professional sports. When you watch refs call penalties or even eject players with no reason and often no replay, it is natural to be suspicious. Frankly I think it would be hilarious if Goodell really were trying to rig games against his usual targets because it is obviously just something else he’s failing at.

  26. keithdylan says: Oct 15, 2016 1:09 PM

    When tennis gets caught with a gambling scandal it’s because LEGALIZED/REGULATED gambling notices a large amount of money being wagered on one side. I believe that also busted an NCAA basketball scandal many moons ago. Anyone in the NFL in a position to change the outcome of a game would be making or in a position to make a large salary from the game and endorsements. Bribing them would require a large sum of money that the amount wagered to cover that investment would set off alarms. A blackmail situation could happen now. Can’t say it will never happen, but it already has happened and how many professional teams are there in Vegas? Being in Vegas doesn’t change a thing. Opening up all states to sports wagering would help, not hurt.

  27. rufustfirefly1303 says: Oct 15, 2016 1:33 PM

    That is the dumbest thing ive read i awhile. A team in vegas would change nothing.

  28. abninf says: Oct 15, 2016 1:59 PM

    Consider Super Bowl 50. When Cam Newton doesn’t dive on the loose ball, it was assumed that he was making a “business decision.”

    And his explanation confirmed our assumptions.

  29. captainwhodat says: Oct 15, 2016 2:09 PM

    turtlehut says:
    The Jets and Giants play in New Jersey
    Atlantic City is less than 2 hours from Met Life Stadium
    Empire City Casino is less than 20 miles from Met Life
    ergo these teams are under the control of gamblers….

    ah, maybe, just maybe, you have stumbled on the reason Fitzpatrick and Manning have performed so poorly, to date…congrats…

  30. ebdug says: Oct 15, 2016 2:18 PM

    For those of us that know how NFL fixes are executed, we know that proximity isn’t a factor.

  31. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Oct 15, 2016 2:39 PM

    Vegas is a worthless city for old white folks.

  32. pastabelly says: Oct 15, 2016 3:12 PM

    It’s also a much tougher argument now that Vegas has an NHL team that will play right at the MGM.

  33. fordmandalay says: Oct 15, 2016 3:25 PM

    People want to know why NFL TV ratings are down; well here it is. It’s not due to players publicly protesting unrestrained police brutality, it’s anger at billionaire owners screwing over the fans and holding cities hostage, forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build new stadiums or they’ll move to a city that will. Trying to force new markets like London that no-one but the owners are interested in, because they believe it will make them a few more dollars, while taking away home games from existing teams. Trying to squeeze in more games to make a couple of more bucks, even though 50% of the players can’t get through a season now without getting badly injured. I could go on and on, but it all boils down to zero loyalty to the fan base.

  34. raiderinva says: Oct 15, 2016 4:27 PM

    It does not matter where the game is played, there will always be questions about the integrity of the game when the governing body cannot tell you what a catch is.

  35. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 15, 2016 4:38 PM

    Oh good, you found a nice photo of some Pats haters to use with this

  36. bigotshamer says: Oct 15, 2016 7:52 PM

    I don’t believe NFL games are fixed. However, it is obvious that the League uses officiating to orchestrate a desired result. It’s like saying a reality television show is fixed.

  37. finchy74 says: Oct 15, 2016 9:08 PM

    Replace “suspicious” with “sensible” and this article will be more accurate.

    Read a little bit of Brian Tuohy’s work and you’ll understand why a professional team doesn’t belong in Vegas.

    Besides, the Raiders belong in Oakland.

  38. idpfantasyfootball says: Oct 15, 2016 9:40 PM

    Nothing wrong with conspiracy theories. Sit in a court room for a bit and see how many cases of conspiracy that the state brings against citizens.

    The public was 3 and 11 last week against the totals… Is the public really that bad? Is this the reason for your drop in TV ratings? People are expecting one game and getting the opposite…

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