NFL reportedly investigating ‘second wave’ of player gambling violations

The National Football League signed deals with four sportsbook operators in 2021 that are expected to generate more than $270 million in revenue. As gambling becomes a more involved partner with the NFL, league officials are cracking down on violations of the gambling policy.

Under the league’s gambling policy, no one among the league’s personnel can bet on NFL games. In addition, everyone is forbidden from making any bets at any work-related location. It means NFL personnel can’t place any bets at stadiums, team hotels, club events, or practice facilities.

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Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw was suspended in November 2019 after he was caught betting on games. In March 2022, wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended one year for betting on multiple games.

More recently, Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams was among five players suspended in April for violating the league’s gambling policy. Now, league officials are reportedly looking into another wave of potential violations.

According to ESPN’s David Purdum, the NFL is investigating a “second wave” of potential violations of its gambling policy. The inquiry comes just weeks after five players were suspended and multiple staffers were fired for violating the gambling policy.

The NFL is taking a hardline stance on any league personnel gambling on games, especially players or coaches. Maintaining football’s integrity is paramount, especially with the partnerships with sportsbooks expected to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the next decade.

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League officials likely hoped that Ridley’s one-year ban would serve as a warning to players, coaches and staffers about the costs of violating the gambling policy. However, the discipline handed out in April that largely impacted the Lions served as a reminder that issues remain.

If an investigation uncovers additional instances of players violating the gambling policy, there will be significant discipline. Any player who bets on any other sports games at a league-operated location will likely face a six-game suspension, just as Williams did. If anyone is found to have bet on NFL games, they will face an indefinite suspension and miss the entire 2023 season.

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