Roger Goodell Issues Statement on Sports Gambling, Calls for Legislation

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks from the stage during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement Monday in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision last week to end the ban on sports betting in most states, calling on Congress "to enact uniform standards for states that choose to legalize sports betting."

Goodell asked that Congress consider regulating betting with "four core principles" in mind:

  • "There must be substantial consumer protections;
  • "Sports leagues can protect our content and intellectual property from those who attempt to steal or misuse it;
  • "Fans will have access to official, reliable league data; and
  • "Law enforcement will have the resources, monitoring and enforcement tools necessary to protect our fans and penalize bad actors here at home and abroad."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has long been a proponent of legalized sports betting, also believes the NBA and other professional leagues should receive a portion of the revenue created by the industry.

"We've joined the fray... and we have a position," he said in April on ESPN's Get Up! (h/t Andrew Joe Potter of The Score). "We think we should be compensated in certain ways for the additional costs we're going to incur through various integrity measures."

And in February he told reporters: "I would only say from the NBA's standpoint we will spend this year roughly $7.5 billion creating this content, creating these games. Those are total expenses for the season. So this notion that as the intellectual property creators that we should receive a one percent fee seems very fair to me."

Goodell's third point in his statement seems to be indicating the NFL may take a similar stance to Silver and the NBA, setting up a potential legal fight for the professional leagues against legal betting books in the future, especially if Congress abstains from creating a federal standard for sports betting and instead allows all 50 states to regulate it as they see fit. 

The Supreme Court's decision potentially opened up sports betting around the United States, but the implications of the decision and its applications going forward remain a gray area.  

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