NFL Announces Six Rules to Clarify Its Gambling Policy for Players

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The National Football League (NFL), the governing body of American Football in North America, held a meeting recently to clarify its gambling policy, and this has resulted in the NFL announcing six rules regarding gambling in the sport.

This announcement follows several instances of players and other members of the NFL breaching the league’s strict rules prohibiting gambling on NFL matches, including four players who were suspended for betting in April alone.

The NFL finds they have been forced into this position because some players who breached the league betting rules stated they had not been educated on the gambling policy of the league, and one player even expressed surprise to learn that NFL players were prohibited from wagering on football matches.

The key rule which heads the list is “Don’t bet on the NFL”. This should leave NFL players in no doubt that placing wagering on the sport they participate in does not promote the integrity of NFL games and could lead to accusations of match-fixing.

Players have been instructed not to use any gaming facilities at their team’s home ground and when playing away, as well as during any playing trips that involve stays at a hotel.

The NFL also includes a key rule that lets players in the game know that getting someone else to place wagers on American Football matches is also prohibited. Players in the league hold a privileged position and have access to important information regarding players’ fitness and team formations. The NFL has warned players against sharing their expert knowledge with members of the public.

The NFL wants to discourage players from being associated with gambling on the sport and has included a rule that states players should not enter any retail sportsbook outlet during the season.

The growth of fantasy football in recent years allows customers to use their knowledge of the NFL to make predictions on the daily version of the fantasy game. NFL players have a unique insight into American Football and team tactics. Therefore, to avoid the perception of impropriety, the last key rule says NFL players should not take part in daily fantasy football competitions.

Sports gambling has a great deal more presence in people's lives than it did just a few short years ago. This means for us as [a] sports league -- where the 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.

Jeff MillerExecutive Vice President of Communications for the NFL