Goodell mum on NFL’s gambling plan

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By now you’re surely seen or at least heard about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s pre-league meeting victory lap regarding recent business deals the NFL has done. Buried in the mostly-fluff-and-puff piece from Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal is the latest evidence that the NFL continues to regard gambling as a forbidden topic, no matter how inevitable it may be.

Writes Beaton near the bottom of the article: “Goodell declined to discuss specifically what the league would do if sports betting is legalized.” Contrast this strategy of silence with the very public approach taken by the NBA and Major League Baseball to actively lobby in states where legislation is either pending or has been passed in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling that could open the floodgates from sea to shining sea for sports wagering.

At the appropriate time, the NFL may try to piggyback on the efforts of the other sports leagues to get a one-percent piece of the action from the various states where gambling will happen. “Why would we let other people have all the benefit of something we’re creating?” an unnamed owner told Beaton. But here’s the easy response: Why should any state voluntarily give the sports league’s any portion of the money generated by gambling? Nevada doesn’t do it; why would anyone else?

The NFL’s benefit will come from enhanced interest in its product, once gambling becomes legitimized, accepted, and mainstream. Decades of illegal gambling have fueled the growth of the sport; legalizing it necessarily will make it more prevalent, getting more people interested in watching specific games they otherwise wouldn’t care about, simply because they put $10 on the home team giving 5.5 points.

The NFL also can generate profit from, for example, serving as a conduit for betting via the various team-owned websites and apps. The league can parlay its negotiating acumen into millions if not billions by creating essentially an online casino with the front doors at the places where people currently get information about the NFL and its various teams — and, of course, scalp tickets to games.

Then there’s the possibility of in-game prop bets, placed inside the stadium on every possible subject, from the coin flip to whether the next play will be a run or a pass to whether a field goal will be made or missed to anything else that can happen during three hours of action. (These types of real-time bets present a much lower risk to the overall integrity of the game, since they have nothing to do with the outcome of a given game.)

So the league will have plenty of ways to get money for something, once gambling is legal. There’s no reason for the various states that legalize gambling to give the NFL money for nothing, especially since the NFL will enjoy indirect cash flow from increased interest by people who have cash on the line.

36 responses to “Goodell mum on NFL’s gambling plan

  1. I think its quite obvious what the plan is. Engineer it so that all the casinos and gambling outlets have to give a % to the league, or else “gambling is bad for the sport and should not be allowed”

    The league clearly has no problem with gambling given the shadow ownership by NFL owners of the daily fantasy gambling sites.

    The only concern of the NFL here is servicing their own greed.

  2. I don’t know why a business trying to make money is called “greed.” It is why they exist. When they try to make money at the expense of the market that is bad, but the NFL makes its money because of the market, and that could include legalized gambling.

    I don’t think making it legal will do anything to enhance the popularity of the sport. It’s already the biggest, and gambling is happening anyway. I think this is just something that will either happen, or it won’t. And if it does, the NFL will try to capitalize on it, unless it doesn’t. Whichever way it goes really doesn’t matter to the average fan – or shouldn’t.

  3. Everything the league does is based on the anticipated reaction from us, the fans. So on issues like this, they’re going to go slowly and measure every word, and then tweak the next announcement based on our reaction. They’re just like politicians. When a politician speaks, he/she has already been advised of the public’s reaction to what they’re about to say. So when you hear something stupid, look in the mirror. We are their target audience, and we’re not the brightest bunch. They rely on our votes and our dollars. We are quick to reach into our wallets and give our money away. We often vote against what appears to be our own best interest. The Panthers are probably going to be sold for more than $2.5 Billion, so whatever the league is doing is working. Expect Roger Goodell to keep getting raises. The money for his raise is coming out of our wallets. But we think he’s a dummy.

  4. NFL is dead set against gambling.

    Which is proven by their actions because we all know that playing fantasy sports has nothing to with gambling.

    “Integrity of the Game” is code for “we haven’t figured out how to get paid for it”.

  5. The NFL has to guard against not just the reality but the perception that its games will be fixed by gambling interests influencing players or coaches. The missed tackle at the end of the Vikings Saints game may be questioned as to whether it was a deliberate act to fix the game. And people may wonder if the game was fixed when Malcolm Butler was benched in the Super Bowl for no good reason.

  6. The NFL is in the Stone Age compared to the NBA. The owners should be furious with Goodell for being behind the curve on fantasy football and gambling as a whole; which are two of the most profitable opportunities in decades.

    Btw, if the league starts making $2 billion/year in gambling income, that means taxpayer funded stadiums become unnecessary, right?

  7. Already there are too many games with dubious outcomes. Legalizing gambling would put all the results of every game in question. Can you imagine the questions the Patriots would get? They seem to already get the majority of the breaks. Every game, every play would come into question. There will be gambling regardless. But we don’t need to legalize it and make it easier for games to have foregone conclusions.

  8. Goodell would approve NFL branded asbestos pacifiers if he thought it would keep him in his job one day longer.

  9. “I don’t know why a business trying to make money is called “greed.” It is why they exist. ”

    Its called greed because of the hypocrisy, double standards and lies of the league. Its called greed because of owners who protect and employ domestic violence abusers pretending they’ve done nothing wrong just because they might win an extra game or two. Its called greed when at least 1/3 of the owners make no real effort to win a Super Bowl because they know those huge TV checks will keep rolling in no matter what.

    I could go on but I think my point is made.

  10. “Legalizing gambling would put all the results of every game in question.“

    Yes, it is a good thing that there is no gambling right now. No $16 billion industry exists right now, and there is nobody in the US that gambles on sports, and no unregulated profiteers exist on the black market. It’s a good thing that none of those things exist.

  11. What people don’t realize is that the black market is exactly what led to the Tim Donaghy games fixing scandal. Eliminate the black market by making it legal, and you make it significantly more difficult for refs and players to be coerced into action.

  12. Gambling isn’t one of my vices, I support legalizing most things though. I think it is insane we can buy a firearm but we can’t be trusted to make a wager.

    Yes, people will question the outcome of games. They do that now! So that point is invalid. Making gambling legal will divert money from criminal enterprises and benefit the public instead, via whatever tax gets levied. So, yeah, let’s do that

  13. It is kind of strange that the government is one group of people most addicted to making money from gambling,drugs and alcohol these days but yet do so little in the way of treating the people who “overindulge” while providing revenue for their coffers. I don’t think they will be too eager to share the wealth with the NFL players who are taking a beating for their profit either.

  14. harrisonhits2 says:
    March 25, 2018 at 12:14 pm
    “I don’t know why a business trying to make money is called “greed.” It is why they exist. ”
    Its called greed because of the hypocrisy, double standards and lies of the league. Its called greed because of owners who protect and employ domestic violence abusers pretending they’ve done nothing wrong just because they might win an extra game or two. Its called greed when at least 1/3 of the owners make no real effort to win a Super Bowl because they know those huge TV checks will keep rolling in no matter what.
    I could go on but I think my point is made.

    ****************************************************
    Hold on here. Are you serous? This is America. You talk about domestic violence abusers. You talk about lies. We are all Americans. Look who we just put in the white house. We have no problem with lairs and abusers. I guess we all prioritize things differently. We only use morals when it’s convenient.

  15. (These types of real-time bets present a much lower risk to the overall integrity of the game, since they have nothing to do with the outcome of a given game.)

    ————————–
    That is a naive statement. Can you imagine, given today’s technology, what it would be like on 4th and goal and the end of a close game and 80% of the stadium is betting “run”? And let’s say that information is on a tablet in front of the play caller? Or better yet, in the QB’s helmet. Could be insane or could be *extremely entertaining*!

  16. How is the NFL accountable to the media?
    How?
    Also, how is it that the media is NOT accountable to anyone for anything?
    If I were Roger Goodell I’d tell the networks to stick to broadcasting NFL games, policies and concerns that are internal to the NFL and its franchises are private.

  17. Legalizing gambling won’t eliminate the black market.
    Illegal bookmaking will always exist for one simple reason: credit.

    Casinos make you pay the vig up front.

  18. charliecharger says:
    March 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm
    harrisonhits2 says:
    March 25, 2018 at 12:14 pm
    “I don’t know why a business trying to make money is called “greed.” It is why they exist. ”
    Its called greed because of the hypocrisy, double standards and lies of the league. Its called greed because of owners who protect and employ domestic violence abusers pretending they’ve done nothing wrong just because they might win an extra game or two. Its called greed when at least 1/3 of the owners make no real effort to win a Super Bowl because they know those huge TV checks will keep rolling in no matter what.
    I could go on but I think my point is made.

    ****************************************************
    Hold on here. Are you serous? This is America. You talk about domestic violence abusers. You talk about lies. We are all Americans. Look who we just put in the white house. We have no problem with lairs and abusers. I guess we all prioritize things differently. We only use morals when it’s convenient.

    ————–

    C’mon man after 8 years of the Appeaser-in-Chief anybody is an upgrade. Heck, Gumby would be an upgrade to Obama.

  19. Hold on here. Are you serous? This is America. You talk about domestic violence abusers. You talk about lies. We are all Americans. Look who we just put in the white house. We have no problem with lairs and abusers. I guess we all prioritize things differently. We only use morals when it’s convenient.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Can’t get over that election Huh? LMAO

  20. TruFBFan says:
    March 25, 2018 at 10:57 am
    I don’t know why a business trying to make money is called “greed.” It is why they exist. When they try to make money at the expense of the market that is bad, but the NFL makes its money because of the market, and that could include legalized gambling.

    I don’t think making it legal will do anything to enhance the popularity of the sport. It’s already the biggest, and gambling is happening anyway. I think this is just something that will either happen, or it won’t. And if it does, the NFL will try to capitalize on it, unless it doesn’t. Whichever way it goes really doesn’t matter to the average fan – or shouldn’t.

    ————–

    Because it’s a conflict-of-interests. They don’t let players or coaches engage in or be associated with gambling, but the LEAGUE can do it?

    Makes no sense and is hypocritical as some others have pointed out. The potential for corruption is enormous.

  21. If gambling gets too close to the NFL they both lose. Don’t keep your matches next to the gasoline. Gamblers have to believe that the game isn’t fixed for gambling to be profitable. The NFL needs gamblers to keep viewership up in meaningless games and blow outs.

  22. The plan is refs will continue to manufacture the outcomes, spreads and playoff teams that are most profitable for the owners who have always been making fortunes off gambling.

    That’s their job and that’s why they’re never allowed to be questioned by the media.

    Not that the media is in the business of honestly informing anyone anyways.

  23. The whole fixing games is nonsense, if only because the players and coaches are paid millions of dollars a year now. There isn’t a reasonable dollar amount to offer a player to fix a game to justify the risk of losing all future salary and being banned from the game. I’m sure such a thing happens in the NCAA, where players aren’t paid, but pro sports isn’t what it was 30 years ago. Everyone is rich. What do you offer a rich person to risk his career?

  24. Once this Officially begins the teams will begin checking out Which Official in the game we’re playing is For Sale and How Much? Can we buy his loyalty one game at a time or can we Purchase it for the Whole season? Same goes for players, is the guy playing next to me for rent? Is he willing to let the QB take a nasty hit or sack at a critical juncture in a game or season? Oh yeah, what a great idea…

  25. “Illegal bookmaking will always exist for one simple reason: credit.”

    Umm, ever hear of a “host” at a casino? They offer these things called “markers” that are basically lines of credit at the tables or the books.

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