A betting ban hasn’t been requested by the NFL on Raiders games when the team leaves Oakland for Las Vegas, and league commissioner Roger Goodell said they have no plans to do so, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In spite of the NFL’s longstanding antiquated public stance on sports betting, last Monday league owners voted 31-1 to allow the Raiders franchise, which has been looking to exit the city it’s called home for close to 45 years, for a couple of years at least, to move from its current home at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to a new $1.9 billion stadium in Sin City.
However, Goodell has yet to embrace sports betting and after the vote said that the league still strongly opposes legalized gambling and that it would not compromise the integrity of the game. Goodell added, “But you also have the regulatory of gambling there, which actually will be beneficial,” according to the news agency. The commissioner has retained his stance that betting does not promote the integrity of sports, however, many experts in the government, legal community, and in gaming, have pointed out that the integrity of the games is actually protected by well-regulated sports betting; much more so than unregulated betting which according to the American Gaming Association, more than 97 percent of the estimated $154 billion that was wagered on sports in the U.S. last year was bet via offshore websites and illegal bookies. Less than three percent of the total, $4.2 billion, was bet through Nevada’s state-regulated system, which is viewed as legal sports wagering’s gold standard.
Along with the NFL, the other biggest stakeholder in protecting the game’s integrity is the state of Nevada’s 196 sports books. Westgate Las Vegas’ vice president of race and sports, Jay Kornegay, said, “The integrity of the games is our product as well, and we want to protect it. It’s in the best interests of the sports books,” and, “People will not want to bet on something they believe is predetermined. If there is a so-called crooked game and we’re taking wagers on it, who is going to get hurt? The bookmaker. We always want to protect the game and our industry.”
According to the report, Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman, Dr. Tony Alamo, said neither the NFL nor the NHL has requested that any betting restrictions be placed on their games. The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Golden Knights were given the green light last June by the NHL to create the Vegas Golden Knights and will begin its 2017-2018 season in Vegas. Alamo said that neither he nor the commission has been approached regarding the NFL of any discussions having to do with the league. He said, “The safest place on the planet to place a sports bet is Nevada,” Alamo said. “There is consumer protection, regulation and oversight. Because of our regulation, probably the best place on the planet to have a sporting event is Nevada.”
Wagers will be accepted by sports books from any person who is 21-years-old or older, with the exception of NFL players and games officials. The NFL prohibits both players and officials from wagering on games. Per the league’s gambling policy, NFL personnel including players are permitted to attend “legally-operated casinos and horse or dog racing tracks” for the purposes of betting on races or casino games on their personal time. Game officials meanwhile, must report their entry into a casino or racetrack to the league within 24 hours of having done so.
The possibility still exists that Goodell could petition the state and seek a limitation on betting, which could include requesting that no bets be allowed on Raiders home games or any game during the season or post-season if they make it that far.