NFL plans to lobby Congress for a “regulatory framework” for sports betting

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The NFL has lost in the judicial branch (even if the NFL actually has won at the every branch of every bank with which it does business). The league now will take the gambling fight to the legislature.

In its first statement issued in the aftermath of Monday’s landmark ruling paving the way for nationwide sports betting, the NFL makes clear its intention not to lobby individual states but to lobby Congress for a law that protects the NFL’s interests.

“The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute,” the league said. “Congress has long-recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting. We also will work closely with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game.”

The NFL may have a hard time getting Congress to pass any laws that would regulate state-by-state gambling, given that Monday’s ruling arises from the rights of states to determine whether they want to have sports wagering, without interference from the federal government.

At the state level, the reference to the protection of fans and “the integrity of our game” could be another way of phrasing the money-for-nothing “integrity fee” that the sports leagues are seeking. Regardless, the NFL will have little or no leverage to make that request in the states where the NFL currently doesn’t do business. In the states where NFL teams currently reside, the league will have slightly more leeway when it comes to getting a cut, ostensibly to protect fans and ensure the integrity of the game.

Still, it would be far more effective to get a favorable federal law that applies to all states. The NFL apparently will give that a try initially, even if anything that restricts the ability of states to determine the scope and breadth of sports gambling programs will presumably fail for the same reason that the law prohibiting any sports wagering finally has been scrapped.

29 responses to “NFL plans to lobby Congress for a “regulatory framework” for sports betting

  1. Oh boy, lobbyists and lawyers…. Already making money before a bet has been placed.

  2. “The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute,” the league said


    This statement doesn’t hold much water given the leagues fixing of the 2009 NFC championship game, among others.

  3. Hopefully the Congress will give Goodell the same treatment he has been doling out for years now….

  4. The only jurisdiction Congress has, based upon the inter-state commerce clause of the US Constitution, is regulation over funds transferred between states. So theoretically, they could put significant regulation on any internet sports betting, but there would be very little influence they can have over brick and mortar casinos are state sponsored lottery type sports wagering. My guess is they will mostly stay away.

    The NFL, of course, knows this. This statement is nothing but an attempt into coercing the States into giving them a piece of the pie with threats to try and throw obstacles in their paths.

  5. The NFL should be more worried about their falling ratings due to their support of the anti-America protests by their employees.

  6. @rcali: or, patriotic responses to anti-constitutional actions. See how that works?

    If you cannot, I’d make the assumption that you, yourself are an anti-American.

    We all have constitutional rights, for better or for worse. To assume differently would, by nature, be “anti-American”.

  7. Only reason NFL is against this because now they won’t be the only ones fixing games.

  8. The problem with ‘seeing how it works’ is the ratings have not dropped because of any alleged patriotic response to anti-Constitutional
    First, nothing Constitutional, anti or otherwise, has occurred. The ‘anti-American actions’ have not seen a government response. Just as the league, teams, and fans responses have also not elicited a government response. The actions are legal. So are the reactions. One of those reactions is a drop in ratings. There has been nothing anti- Constitutional.

  9. I don’t get the NFLs hypocrisy in attempting to call out gambling while knowing a large portion of their fans gamble illegally / and of play fantasy .

  10. How is lobbying anything but a legally correct term for straight up bribery of Congressmen and senators?

  11. Gambling already exists …the only thing I can think is NFL is already involved in casinos and they don’t want competition.
    There wouldn’t be any more reason for players to throw a game than there is now….none!
    It’s gotta be they already are making money from gambling in one way or another and they don’t want the competition….
    If you owned a Pizza place and someone wanted to bet if the next pizza order was a cheese, pepperoni or supreme why would you care as a pizza owner….you wouldn’t…
    …unless you already were a company in the gambling business …just didn’t tell anyone.

  12. “The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute,” the league said.
    The NFL does not need to lobby congress to maintain the league’s integrity in light of sports betting. It should make absolutely no difference to the NFL if Sally in Omaha wants to place a bet on the Vikings. It literally does not impact them. If the league wants to take a stand for integrity involving sports betting, then they should simply draft an internal memo that prohibits ANY involvement by NFL and/or team employees including game officials. Make the consequences severe and, this is the hard part, actually enforce those rules regardless of excuses or public outcry. Complaining to congress shows the league doesn’t think it can control its employees when it comes to gambling. That leads to tougher questions concerning why they feel that way and what has recently happened to influence their position.

  13. Congress seems to have no interest nor care about the public image or public perception of the integrity of the FBI….. why would anyone think they’ll care about the NFL?

  14. 1. Will the NFL now become financially liable for the bad calls and non-calls that their league employees make? I have made the case before that cities that do not receive home playoff games due to referee incompetence should be able to sue for damages. Maybe bettors should consider taking legal action.

    Thinking back over the last 10 years, the PIT/SD Polamalu bad call was expensive. The phantom PI call on Ben Leber in the MIN/NO championship game in early 2010 was costly to many. Ed Hochuli had a bad call in a DEN/SD game years ago that directly impacted wallets.

    2. The game has been setup for this ruling and the Super Bowl proved it. Close games are decided by someone in the New York Command Center who is given leeway to interpret the grey areas of the rules however they want. The NFL can always issue an apology later. This allows the NFL to determine the outcomes and final scores.

    If an NFL owner needs some quick cash, just bet their portion of the skim.. ahem.. I mean ‘integrity fee’.., and dictate the outcome through the Command Center’s link to the refs.

    Money For Nothing.

  15. Crazy. Guys have been betting for years. They will still use “their guy” to bet and cut the state and feds out. Greedy ash bashterds.

  16. The judicial branch has spoken, based on their interpretation of the constitution, therefore congress shouldn’t try to legislate this issue. Separation of powers is a great founding principle of this country, but apparently the NFL doesn’t understand it. Yes, the same league that needs to have the national anthem sung before the draft. Not a game, the draft.

  17. “even if anything that restricts the ability of states to determine the scope and breadth of sports gambling programs will presumably fail for the same reason that the law prohibiting any sports wagering finally has been scrapped”

    That’s not what the judgement says Mike!!

    “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”

  18. They should deny all sports teams any cut. It just isn’t a good idea to have them caught up in and profitting off of betting, they will lose all remaining integrity and will be in best position to fix games.

  19. The NFL has no shame. Asking for an integrity fee, but also forcing local governments and taxpayers to pay for new stadiums.

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