The NFL has a longstanding and fierce opposition to gambling, which is why many people doubted a team would ever play in Las Vegas. Now it appears that the Raiders will move to Las Vegas, but Commissioner Roger Goodell insists that the league’s stance on gambling hasn’t changed.
Asked by Colin Cowherd if the NFL is softening its opposition to gambling, as the NBA has under Commissioner Adam Silver, Goodell indicated that playing in America’s gambling capital doesn’t signal a shift for the NFL.
“We’ve seen the changes in the culture around the country in gambling,” Goodell said. “We’re obviously very sensitive to that, but we’re also going to evaluate the Raiders case on the relocation application in what’s in the overall best interests of the league. But one thing we can’t ever do is compromise on the game. That’s one of the things we’ll do is to make sure the policies we’ve created, if we did in any way approve the Raiders, I don’t see us compromising on any of the policies.”
In other words, the league is considering a move to Las Vegas because the taxpayers there are willing to devote hundreds of millions of dollars to a stadium, and the taxpayers in Oakland aren’t. As far as the NFL is concerned, that’s a separate issue from gambling.