Tue, Mar 28, 2:22pm by Staff Writer
Of all the strange things about the NFL owners approving the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas in 2020, perhaps the strangest is that punters may not be able to bet on Raiders’ games.
NFL owners approved the Raiders move to the gambling mecca 31-1 on Monday, paving the way for the move from Oakland to Vegas as soon as the new $2.5 billion stadium is ready.
That’s unlikely to be before 2020, giving the Nevada lawmakers a chance to look at a law which prohibits Vegas offering a book on professional sporting events involving a team from inside the state of Nevada.
Clearly a relic from the days where there was a snowflake’s chance in hell of an NFL team setting up camp in the state, the law allows the NFL a right of veto on any book set up on a professional game involving a Nevada team.
In puts the NFL in an interesting quandary should the law remain unchanged, when you consider the NFL’s stance on sports betting.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week that the Raiders move to Las Vegas would not change the league’s staunch opposition to the broader legalisation of sports betting.
“We are not changing our position as it relates to legalized sports gambling,” Goodell told MMQB.com. “We still don’t think it’s a positive thing.”
Goodell recently admitted that his organisation had ‘softened’ on its anti-gambling stance, but it is a long way of the progressive stance of the NBA, which has supported federal laws legalising sports betting.
Under Nevada Gaming Control regulations, the NFL will have 30 days prior to the first Las Vegas Raiders game to file a written request which would prevent Las Vegas sportsbooks betting on the event. The Nevada Gaming Commission will have the final say on the issue.
The NFL will already have to change one of its own rules which states that no match official can visit Las Vegas.
Even in the off-season, a referee or official needs the NFL’s permission to visit the city and must not visit a sportsbook.
Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy said ahead of the vote, that he expected the issue of gambling to be front and centre at discussions.
“I do think that’s something we’ll discuss,” Murphy told ESPN. “and [go over] what kind of precautions are going to be taken to ensure that we don’t have a major scandal coming out of having a team in Las Vegas.”
The people of Nevada are just happy to have an NFL team on the doorstep according to Nevada State Sen. Mark Lipparelli.
“Looking back 10 years, 15 years, the prospect of having professional sports in Nevada was pretty bleak,” Lipparelli, a former gaming control chairman, told ESPN. “Now, to think that we have two major league franchises established here, I think it’s got to be viewed as a positive light.”
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