NFL emphasizing gambling policy to players
The NFL is reinforcing its gambling policy ahead of the 2023 season.
The league - which will now require rookies to attend mandatory education sessions about the league's gambling policy - is highlighting six "key rules" in the wake of recent violations, according to a memo obtained by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
- Don't bet on the NFL;
- Don't gamble at your team facility, while traveling for a road game, or staying at a team hotel;
- Don't have someone bet for you;
- Don't share team "inside information";
- Don't enter a sportsbook during the NFL playing season;
- Don't play daily fantasy football.
Gambling apps will inform the league if a player uses his own name to create an account, NFL chief compliance officer Sabrina Perel said.
League officials are visiting team facilities to emphasize and clarify what activities are prohibited, according to ESPN's Stephen Holder.
"The world has changed over the last few years," NFL executive vice president of communications Jeff Miller said on Tuesday. " ... The availability of our phones and (with) a couple of touches, and all of a sudden, you can place a bet on many different things was not available a few years ago and is available now."
Miller added: "Sports gambling has a great deal more presence in people's lives than it did just a few short years ago, which means for us as (a) sports league - where integrity of the game is the highest single principle - that we have to be thoughtful and careful and scrutinize how we share information and educate people around the rules that govern it."
The reinforcements to the league's gambling rules come weeks after the NFL opened an investigation into Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers for betting. Rodgers apologized for the incident, saying he takes "full responsibility for (his) actions."
A sportsbook account was apparently opened under the name of one of Rodgers' associates. Approximately 100 bets, including some on Colts games, were reportedly placed on the account over an undisclosed amount of time.
In April, the NFL suspended five players for violating its gambling policy, including Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams, who received a six-game ban for gambling on college sports from the Lions' facility. Wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore were also punished indefinitely for betting on NFL games last season before Detroit cut them.
Former All-Pro pass-catcher Calvin Ridley was also suspended in March 2022 for betting on NFL games. Ridley, then a member of the Atlanta Falcons, was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars while suspended and was reinstated this offseason.
The NFL's gambling policy prohibits personnel from gambling in any manner while in a club or league facility. However, multiple players - including Williams - said they weren't aware of the rules.