Roger Goodell addresses NFL gambling ahead of Super Bowl

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The NFL is ensuring the integrity of its league amid a spike in gambling-related incidents.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed media ahead of Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on several issues impacting the league, including the growing legalized sports betting industry.

The NFL had previously distanced itself from gambling but following the appeal of PASPA, the league has established a footprint in the sports betting and casino industries.

Goodell is answering for the NFL following an influx of gambling incidents involving not only players but coaches and league personnel, who must adhere to the league’s wagering policy.

“The integrity of our game is critical,” Goodell told media on Monday. “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.”

Goodell made a point to ensure the NFL’s integrity as the league and its fans descend on the gambling capital of the world for Feb. 11’s Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. The game, which will be played at Allegiant Stadium, puts the eyes of sports fans around the world on the sports betting industry, which is dictating NFL policies.

“We clarified our policy earlier this year, and it was to put the importance for our players betting on NFL games or inside information or anything that would negatively impact the integrity of our game is absolutely off limits,” continued Goodell.

In September 2023, the NFL revised its gambling policy for players and staff following criticism that it lacked clarity and offered excessive punishments. The league reduced the suspension of wagering at NFL facilities from six games to two games on the first offense of the violation.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams was handed a six-game suspension in April 2023 for placing bets at the team’s facility while Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Nicolas Petit-Frere was given the same punishment two months later. Both players were reinstated early following the NFL updating its gambling policy. Repeat offenders will be forced to sit six full NFL games.

The NFL’s policy calls for a one-year suspension for players who bet on other NFL teams while league players wagering on a game their team is involved in will be suspended for two years.

Last year, former Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rogers Sr. was suspended for the 2023 season for betting on NFL games, including his own team. Rogers joined teammate defensive end Roshod Berry and former Lions defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor as players suspended for wagering on NFL contests. Both Rogers and Berry were eventually waived by the Colts.

In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” last week Rogers said he bet for other people.