NFL asks Congress to help combat illegal sports betting amid recent player violations

August 8, 2023
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Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus has written to several national sports leagues to ask for better sports betting education and clarification on the number of active investigations.

The National Football League (NFL) has responded via letter to Nevada Democrat Dina Titus, Co-Chair of the bipartisan gaming caucus, by detailing the league’s efforts to educate players on gambling policies. The letter includes a request for lawmakers to create more resources to fight against illegal gambling.

The league’s 17,000 players, coaches and other employees have also recently been recipients of educational training related to gambling policies and risk from Quarterback, Tom Brady. In April, five of its players (split between the Detroit Lions and the Washington Commanders) were suspended for either betting on 2022 NFL games or betting on non-NFL games from within an NFL facility.

Titus wrote, “When players get suspended and coaches get fired, that means the system is working. The goal, however, should be to stop these bets before they are placed.”

NFL VP of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Jonathan Nabavi, wrote in a letter to Titus, “There is no higher principle at the NFL than safeguarding the integrity of the game. Congress and the federal government have a unique role to play in bringing enforcement actions against illegal operators.”

However, Titus has also claimed in a statement that the NFL has not answered now many active investigations into suspicious sports betting are currently underway.

Titus continued, “With legal sports betting on the rise, it is more important than ever to maintain the integrity of games for players, bettors, and bookmakers. It’s very disappointing that the NFL has declined to answer our questions and instead pivoted to illegal sports betting generally in their response. It makes one wonder what they are trying to hide.”

Titus has also contacted the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHAL) and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). An NCAA response from its President Charlie Barker said 175 sports betting policy infractions have been found since 2018 and clarified that 17 investigations were currently active.

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