Wednesday December 6, 2023

New NFL Policy Toughens on Game Fixing, Betting on Own Team

  • A player who bets on a game involving their own team will be suspended for two years minimum, while fixing could result in a lifetime ban.
  • However, the NFL is lightening up on lesser violations, which will result in two player reinstatements.
A detailed view of some NFL footballs before the Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars game at EverBank Stadium.
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
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The National Football League is changing its gambling policies to more appropriately levy punishments.

In a memo to all 32 NFL teams from commissioner Roger Goodell, the league stated that any player caught betting on an NFL game will be suspended for a minimum of one year; that punishment increases to at least two years if the player bets on a game involving their own team.

Any player caught leaking inside information for bettors or using a third party or proxy to bet will also face a minimum one-year suspension. Any player caught fixing a game, or even attempting to, will result in permanent banishment from the NFL.

However, the league is also lightening up on lesser violations. Any player caught betting on any non-NFL game from a team facility will now be subject to a two-game suspension for the first violation, a six-game suspension for the second, and a year-long suspension for the third.

Because of the new rules, Tennessee Titans OT Nick Petit-Frere and Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams will both be reinstated on Monday; both had originally been suspended for six games for betting on non-NFL games at their team facilities.

“The NFL and NFL Players Association share a longstanding and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of the game,” the league and players association said in a joint statement. “The NFL periodically reviews the gambling policy in consultation with the NFLPA and clubs to ensure it is responsive to changing circumstances and fully addresses this commitment.”

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season after being caught betting on Atlanta Falcons games when he was a member of the team. He and Philadelphia Eagles kick returner Isaiah Rodgers (then a member of the Indianapolis Colts) are the only players so far found to have bet on games involving their own teams.

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