Should NFL be concerned about putting players in Las Vegas?

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The NFL’s longstanding opposition to gambling has taken a backseat to the unavailability of public money to build a Raiders stadium in Oakland. But as the potential relocation of the Raiders to Las Vegas moves closer and closer to the fait accompli category, there’s a potential concern that no one has previously raised.

I can’t take credit (or blame) for the idea. It came from Tom Curran of CSN New England during Monday’s edition of PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. Curran raised a simple question: Should the league be concerned about having players living and working in a city where casinos are everywhere?

The league’s current gambling policy allows players and all other NFL personnel to attend “legally-operated casinos and horse or dog racing tracks” for the purposes of wagering on casino games or races on their own personal time. Absent a change to the policy, this means that Raiders players would be able, when not working, to spend as much time as they want in casinos, wagering as much money as they desire. Which could result in Raiders players losing plenty of money and thus needing money and, in turn, becoming more tempted to, for example, provide inside information to gamblers for money.

And what starts as providing inside information about the true nature and extent of injuries plus other factors that may influence a given player’s or team’s performance could, in theory, become an arrangement that deviates toward the attempted shaving of points or fixing of games.

So if/when the Raiders move to Vegas, the NFL may need to consider a revision to the current gambling rules or, at a minimum, to ensure that players who choose to gamble are doing so responsibly, without any possible impact on the integrity of the game.

There’s a separate reason for taking a careful look at the easy availability of gambling. It quickly could become a distraction for players who otherwise should be spending their personal time studying film or reviewing the playbook or otherwise, you know, not gambling.

So it’s one thing for the league to “evolve” in its approach to gambling. It’s quite another for the league and the Raiders to be comfortable plunking 53 players into a city where it’s easy to plunk down thousands of dollars on a roll of the dice or a spin of the wheel.

66 responses to “Should NFL be concerned about putting players in Las Vegas?

  1. NFL players are getting killed and into serious trouble all over the country.
    Also, moving to Vegas will only add to the Raiders’ brand and Raider lore

  2. There are Indian casinos all over California, Colorado and casinos in New Jersey as well as legal gambling in London. This train has sailed.

  3. “Absent a change to the policy, this means that Raiders players would be able, when not working, to spend as much time as they want in casinos, wagering as much money as they desire. Which could result in Raiders players losing plenty of money and thus needing money and, in turn, becoming more tempted to, for example, provide inside information to gamblers for money.”

    going to get you one of those Jump To Conclusions mats

  4. …And they can’t do that in say, Atlantic City, NJ? …New Jersey being the place where the Jets & Giants play. As I recall, it was in Baltimore where Art Schlichter ruined his career by gambling.

    It doesn’t matter where they are; especially in today’s world of internet gambling. If a player is prone (or addicted) to gambling, it will happen.

    This is a non-argument.

  5. Football players are inherently dumb so they can get in trouble pretty much anywhere. The NFL and Vegas deserve each other.

  6. This is one reason I also do not see a team in Vegas. Complete disaster
    You can also include the entire coaching staff trainers right down to the people that sweep the floors.

    Point shaving is in regards to players. What about the dozens of other people that are privy to information ? Vegas has ruined the moves of many people The players and team employees are all human. Sooner or later someone involved will run into gambling debt. NFL can make all the rules they want on gambling responsibly, there will be more then a few that ignores it.

    Great place to visit. To live there is the pits.

  7. You and Tom Curran might take note of how many casinos there are all over the country now. It isn’t the 1970s.

  8. If the NFL is concerned about putting players in Las Vegas, then they should be concerned about putting players in Pittsburgh since there’s a casino next door to Heinz Field.

  9. “Forget the gambling issue, what about the prostitutes, legal prostitutes at that”
    It’s not legal in Las Vegas, nor anywhere else in Clark County.

  10. Yes illegal gambling isn’t big in New jersey/ New York/ Philadelphia and criminal enterprises don’t run it. Noting to worry about on the east coast but VEGAS is scary because legal regulated gambling is HORRIFYING ..OMG..i’m shaking typing this.

  11. rrhoe says:
    May 23, 2016 10:29 AM
    Forget the gambling issue, what about the prostitutes, legal prostitutes at that…

    Prostitution is not legal in Vegas.
    As far as the ease of being able to wager in Vegas, there is no shortage of easily accessed casinos from most major NFL markets. ‘Skins players just might not want to wear any team gear when going to them

  12. Players will get into trouble because the city is a 24/7 party. Gambling is the least of the worries.

  13. Scrip (*sic*) clubs off limits.

    These guys are adults — the NFL and NFLPA should expect them to act like adults.

  14. It’s the moral responsibility of mother NFL not to put players in harms way and expose them to gambling.
    If the NFL protects the players from being able to walk a few blocks and gamble, then all will be right in the world.
    Currently, it’s not possible for players to gamble if they want to. And no NFL players ever get in trouble with the law, or go bankrupt, or use drugs, or prostitutes, or whatever evils lurk in LV.

    Thus it makes sense to stay away from Vegas.

    But why stop there?
    How about a lifetime ban for Gronk having a party cruise?
    And a lifetime ban for Tony Romo for being involved in fantasy football.

    I say – keep the players locked up in maximal security prisons, for their own safety, until they are done with football. Afterall, it’s the moral responsibility of the NFL to protect the players.

  15. Is this really an argument??? You can go lay 50g’s down on a UNLV basketball or football game there so if there was shaving going on there I think we would of heard about it.

  16. excellent point – I mean it’s not like with their low wages and having no time off during the year that they can travel to Vegas any time they want during the off season. And the fact there is no gambling any where else in the country and it’s not online is certainly a consideration. Just, just a fantastic point.

    I mean I’ve seen those movies too and those gangsters in their striped suits and tommy guns are just relentless.

  17. Most of the NFL, NBA, MLB etc…. players hang out in Vegas, now! So what’s the difference!!! We already know that the NBA is fixed!

  18. there is a casino literally 500 yards from the ravens stadium, they share parking lots on game days, wake up this isnt the 1950’s anymore and you can gamble anytime from any place with this little thing called the internet

  19. Players can find a way to get in trouble in Jacksonville, With the money they make and access to chartered flights they can get to Vegas any time they want right now.

  20. You assume all NFL players are inclined to be involved with some sort of criminality when we know they are all fine, upstanding pillars of the community.

    Aren’t you do for another socially themed enragement over a mascot name?

  21. Thinking a little more, New Orleans has casinos as well. I am sure that many more host cities combine casinos and NFL teams. The biggest difference is the restrictions on sports betting outside of a few states.

  22. Every big city parties 24/7. Legalized prostitution is better than having your free safety arrested for soliciting prostitutes before playing in the Super Bowl.

  23. “I have yet to hear any troubles about any Detroit Lion players having troubles because of the casinos in Detroit and Windsor.”

    Well, I haven’t heard about them winning any playoff games.

  24. He all states mentioned have casinos. Not one of them compare to Vegas where the only real industry is gambling. Outside of that there is nothing up there. Ni can also see many of you have never been to Vegas Comparing gambling in Indian reservation casinos to Vegas is like comparing day and night.

    Prostitutiin may be illegal in Vegas proper but it still a thriving business on the strip.

  25. There are some red herrings flying around…

    If some immature players want to blow their money on entertainment, luxury purchases, and casinos, they easily can do so already – regardless of Las Vegas.

    Regarding cons bribing players or buying ‘insider’ info… If that is a real concern, then it’s occurring now or would occur regardless of where a team is located. Criminals and bookies don’t only live in Vegas…

  26. It is hard to resist temptation in Vegas. When I was young and broke and living in Los Angeles when I drove to Vegas the first thing I would do when I got there was fill my gas tank up so at least I could drive home.

  27. Reche Caldwell was in Florida. Pete Rose was in Ohio. There was a point shaving scandal at Boston College. Thomas Vanek got in gambling trouble in New York. Not sure Vegas is really the issue.

  28. While there is gambling “everywhere,” in Las Vegas gambling is EVERYWHERE. If I remember right, there are slot machines in the gas stations. People with a gambling problem that may be able to resist in other places would be much more likely to fail in Vegas.

    I’ve been drug free for many years, but I know where to go to get it if I want it. It would take a conscious effort, though. I’d have to get in the car and drive to a specific location with that sole purpose in mind. But if I were to live in one of those locations, where there’s dope EVERYWHERE, it wouldn’t take any kind of conscious effort at all and it would be a lot easier to relapse.

    “If you keep going to the barber shop, sooner or later, you’re going to get a haircut.”

  29. Casinos are within walking distance of Arrowhead…Many cities with teams are at least located in states with casinos …..Like NJ Mr Mara…Maybe there needs to be a vote to make the two teams there move.

  30. Completely ridiculous, 35 states have at least 1 casino. Only two teams play in state that does not have a casino in it (Patriots and Falcons) and I would add that Texas only has one in Eagle Pass (which is nowhere near Houston or Dallas). The Raiders would be moving from the state with second most casinos to the one with the most. The main thing Vegas has that the others don’t is Sports betting. If anything, the state control of sports betting gives me more optimism (not much) than the illegal sports betting that we know takes place. The illegal betting is controlled mostly by criminal organizations that would be more likely to influence the players than Vegas bookies would.

  31. Absent a change to the policies of newspapers and online media, this means that media members who visit Las Vegas would be able, when not working, to spend as much time as they want in casinos, wagering as much money as they desire. Which could result in media members losing plenty of money and thus needing money and, in turn, becoming more tempted to, for example, provide inside information to gamblers for money, or writing false hit pieces for money.

    Gee, it isn’t so fun when your flawed logic is applied to your own profession, is it?

  32. I have lived in Vegas my whole life and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve gambled. Sports betting in Vegas is heavily regulated and that creates more attention to suspicious activity.

  33. Gambling won’t be a problem. The problem will be the nonstop partying and all the gold-diggers trying to hook up with the players.

    But hey– welcome to adulthood. Be a professional and do your job.

    There really are no “Oh No It’s Vegas” reasons to not move the team. There are only “Stay In Oakland” reasons to not move.

  34. But do we want Celine Dion singing the national anthem every week? Or Randy Newman? And the Raider cheerleaders will have a whole new look. And I’m guessing there will be slots on the concourse of the new football stadium. Their new mascot will be Carrot Top!

  35. ……you can’t get in trouble in MIAMI?……that’s a major party town……..they need to stop with the ‘What if’s?’ just so they have a reason not to put the Raiders in Vegas. It’s the most logical move the NFL will have done in 10years if this relocation is approved.

  36. Maybe Tom Curran should be more concerned with inflating needles, and video cameras in his own backyard rather than looking across the country.

  37. Grown men have to be responsible for themselves. The NFL is not responsible for them even though they give training to handle money, friends, family, call for a free ride so they don’t drive drunk….. what else do they have to do.

  38. you act like these rich nfl players dont just hop on a jet and land in Vegas a hour later to gamble and party now. its not a big deal, infact if they are around it more often, maybe it will become a bigger NON issue because they are use to it.

  39. Let’s not act like ANY adult can’t find a way to gamble if they want to. If I were the shield I’d be more worried about shenanigans in the clubs at 5AM.

  40. After the billionaire good old boys club approves the Raiders move to LV, the clock starts on which one will be the 1st to invest in a casino operation there. My $$ is on Jerrah Jones.

  41. What, it is only in L V that there are casinos and gambling?

    Talk about a puerile excuse to justify an archaic stance.

  42. As long as they don’t sign Jonny football. Ok…. That was a joke but seriously. If they don’t let the casinos dig their claws into the stadium deal then it just might work.

  43. I remember a time when society let people be accountable for themselves…we’re now a nanny state

  44. Kudos to all of the ADULT comments!! These are grown men we are talking about, correct?? Accountable for their own actions, correct?? You can get into trouble anywhere you are if you want to get into trouble, period.

  45. The NFL is concerned about putting Oakland in Vegas but Vegas represents a free ATM machine for the NFL if properly handled and the Raiders are the most inept, incompetent, embarrassing organization in the history of sports. Marky Mark Davis and company are not mental giants, not by any means.

  46. They keep listing The Sands as a partner in the stadium deal. That’s probably not wise….

    I can see whoever passes for John Gotti these days roaming the locker room in 2017, giving the boys a “pep talk.”

  47. ahs2 says:
    May 23, 2016 1:58 PM

    I remember a time when society let people be accountable for themselves…we’re now a nanny state

    Yeah! Back when men were men! When gambling was illegal everywhere BUT Vegas and Atlantic City. When most states didn’t even have lotteries. When there was NO nudity on television and NO swear words on TV, with NO exceptions. Back when all businesses HAD to be closed on Sundays, by law. Back when you were told who you could marry, or even date; and I’m talking heterosexually.

    I could literally go on for hours but anybody that hasn’t gotten the point by now, isn’t going to.; but please, tell me more about all that “freedom” you remember.

  48. I bet Oakland has more chances to gamble than Vegas in reality.

    Yes, I lived there, not in a nice part, either. If the people knew you, you could play cards or dice anytime you wanted.

    Vegas has nothing on the East Bay.

  49. I smell a Jonny Manzel comeback if theres a team in Vegas. This way he wont have far to go to get into trouble.

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