The Official Website of Best-Selling Author Sean Patrick Griffin

Have We Seen The Last Major Wave Of NFL Betting Suspensions?

Eric Raskin, SportsHandle

From May 14, 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA and sports betting legalization began to spread beyond Nevada, through the end of 2022, two NFL players received suspensions for violating the league’s gambling policy.

From April through July of 2023, 10 NFL players received suspensions for violating the league’s gambling policy.

Seven of those are “indefinite” suspensions (which has, to this point, typically meant one full season) for betting on NFL games, and three of them are six-game suspensions for wagering on other sports markets while located in a league or a team facility or setting.

The overwhelming volume of investigations and suspensions means one or both of these statements must be true: Either NFL players betting on sports in violation of league rules expanded dramatically during the 2022-23 season, or the league’s mechanisms for catching players reached new heights during this most recent season.

Either way, the NFL has responded this spring and summer by amplifying its education efforts. From enlisting recently retired icon Tom Brady to deliver a responsible gambling message to staging offseason seminars with teams individually to hammer home six key rules within the league’s policy, the NFL is pushing hard to make this the last year in which any player will claim ignorance over what is and isn’t permitted.

The question now: Will it work?

Education, penalization the keys

“I do think that we will see it slow down,” said Matthew Holt, the founder and president of monitoring company U.S. Integrity, about the NFL’s sports betting problem. “The key is education. I am seeing it firsthand. I know because we’re doing so many on-site education sessions at colleges — I was just at Ole Miss last week, we were at the University of Illinois — that they’re taking it to heart. The NFL, as well as the other leagues and the NCAA, they understand the problem. We’ve seen the educational efforts extensively expanded, and I think those educational efforts will pay off.

“As the market matures, suddenly regulators aren’t stuck with the burdens of licensing and background checks and are able to get more into their responsibilities as enforcement officers, and the leagues and players are coming to understand that there are people watching all the time now. Certainly, I think that we will see less frequency, in the number of issues, than we did this spring and summer.”

SuperBook Sports Vice President of Sportsbook Operations Jay Kornegay agrees that while the number of violations won’t drop to zero overnight, it should decline significantly — in part due to the education efforts, and in part because players are seeing the penalties their colleagues are receiving.

“The severity of the penalties should continue, in my opinion, to send that message to those players that this is a serious violation,” Kornegay said. “You’re not just getting a slap on the back of your hands. This is something that could cost you your season or end your career.”

Rest is here

image_printPrint Page