For many football fans, the NFL Draft is a prime opportunity to place a bet on when certain players will be drafted and even what might happen throughout the three-day event. Thanks to the legalization of sports gambling in many states across the country, NFL fans are likely to log into their sportsbooks to place a bet on the 2022 NFL Draft Thursday.
However, even if they live in a state where sports betting is legal, they might find that they are unable to place a bet on the NFL Draft. How does that make sense?
The reason for the anomaly is that certain states with legalized sports betting (Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington) do not consider the NFL Draft as a sporting event.
Although sports betting is legal in NY, people in NY can't bet on the NFL draft. It's not a "sporting event" under NY Law, which requires "an event at which 2+ persons participate in a sports/athletic event and receive compensation in excess of actual expenses for participation." https://t.co/P93WDXs132
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) April 28, 2022
“The NFL draft does not fit into the definition of sports wagering as defined by statute,” a spokesperson for the Gaming Commission told WIVB News 4 in Buffalo in regards to why New Yorkers can’t bet on who the Giants or Jets might pick on Thursday.
Furthermore, other states will limit the timeframe in which they accept wagers on the NFL Draft. If you live in Michigan or West Virginia, you needed to place your bets by Wednesday evening. Nevada, meanwhile, stops accepting bets 24 hours before the draft begins. Some of this may be borne out of an attempt to limit insider knowledge, but it puts a strain on sports gamblers who might not be aware of the logistics beforehand.
“The 24-hour requirement is a condition of approval for these types of wagers because they are not based on actions on the field of play,” Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told ESPN. “There are individuals that are aware of certain results related to the NFL draft before the event takes place. As a result, the Nevada Gaming Control Board believes strongly that the closer we get to the event date, the more likely there is a chance insider information could be disclosed and the wager will be compromised.”
There have certainly been some strong reactions to the realization on social media, especially amongst those who didn’t realize the limitations.
Can’t bet on NFL Draft in PA, IA, VA, CT, or NY.
Brutal. 👎 https://t.co/72xI1Z4WOy
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) April 27, 2022
NFL fans arriving in Vegas and finding out they can’t bet on the Draft cause it starts in less than 24 hours pic.twitter.com/T20TFPxVck
— PropSwap (@PropSwap) April 28, 2022
And all the NFL Draft props are down in Vegas(24 hrs before the draft). There’s going to be a lot of pissed off people arriving tomorrow.
I have my issues with IL sports betting, but some states are much worse. My @BetQLDaily co-hosts can’t even bet on the draft in their states.
— Joe Ostrowski (@JoeOstrowski) April 28, 2022
New York not allowing gambling on the NFL Draft 🤝 Me not watching the NFL Draft
— John Lund (@lundinbridge) April 28, 2022
Dumb that we can’t bet on NFL draft in NY
— Melly (@MellyMelligan) April 28, 2022
We’ll have to see if there’s enough of an uproar for some of these states to change their statutes and laws or if they feel like limiting the ability of football fans to bet on the draft is, ultimately, in their interest. In the meantime, the lesson for many gamblers is to check your state’s laws at least a few days beforehand if you plan on placing bets the day of.