Before legal sports betting was allowed, the NFL worried that it would undermine the integrity of the games. But now that the Supreme Court has struck down federal bans, the league has embraced it. And ESPN’s David Purdum explains how official betting is changing the landscape of professional sports.
Purdum says the league used to worry that allowing official betting could lead to bribes and other attempts to fix a game. But that fear may have been overblown. He says that he has not heard of any bribe attempts since legalized sports gambling became available in the US, and that there are rules against it in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. Among those rules are prohibiting players from placing bets on games while at work, and from accepting or offering a bribe to influence the outcome of a match. It also bars them from using inside information for betting purposes.
The football association also has a series of regulations for officials and clubs that oversees official betting. Individuals associated with clubs at lower levels of the men’s or women’s league systems are banned from betting on matches in which they have a duty to perform or can influence the result, and are prohibited from advertising any form of football betting.
Purdum points out that there are already sportsbooks in many MLB stadiums. And he says the league is looking at putting one in the Bears’ stadium as well. He also explains that a sportsbook can turn down a bet or refund it for a variety of reasons. These include errors that can be corrected – such as when a player reaches first base on an error and is called out, but later ruled as a hit.