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Feb 5, 2024 10:55 pm

Roger Goodell: Integrity ‘No. 1’ priority as legalized gambling expands

Goodell

At his annual state of the league address Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the topic of gambling, with Super Bowl LVIII being held in the hotbed of betting — Las Vegas — on Sunday.

Speculation has increased regarding the integrity of the league given the NFL’s gambling partnerships with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel. However, the league has addressed the issue in recent years by updating and enforcing stricter gambling policies. Both players and league employees face consequences for gambling and are barred from gambling or visiting casinos during Super Bowl week.

“It’s our No. 1 objective: Gambling and outside of gambling, the integrity of our game is critical,” Goodell told reporters in the Las Vegas Raiders’ locker room, site of his news conference. “And so we spend a lot of time focusing on that: educating, making sure that all of our personnel are aware of our gambling policies in this case or any other policy that can affect the integrity of our game. Ultimately, that’s our primary job.”

Goodell told reporters he believed 25 league and team personnel violated the NFL’s gambling violations but didn’t reveal whether all were fired or what type of discipline they faced. The commissioner added that approximately 13 players had been disciplined.

The commissioner said that betting on an NFL game could result in termination for a league office employee. Per the latest gambling policy, players receive a one-year suspension for betting on the league and a two-year suspension for betting on their team.

Regarding players betting on other sports, first-time offenders will be suspended two games without pay, second-time offenders six games and third-time offenders at least a one-year suspension.

“We take this incredibly seriously,” Goodell said. “We understand the risk. We did not make the decision. Ultimately the decision was a decision by the Supreme Court: They legalized sports betting. We have to adapt. We have to embrace it. We have been cautious. We have been very thoughtful, I think, in our approach. But we know the risk, and protecting the integrity is No. 1.”

–Field Level Media

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