As the NFL attempts to navigate sports betting becoming legalized in states across the country, the league has announced new — and in some cases, stricter — changes to its gambling policy.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the new policy comes as the result of an agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association. Per the new policy, any player who bets on an NFL game will be subjected to a one-year suspension, while a player who bets on his own team will receive a two-year suspension.
Meanwhile, any player who participates in fixing a game will be banished from the league.
“Message from NFL-NFLPA: don’t bet on the NFL,” Schefter wrote on the social media platform X.
But while the NFL has increased its punishments for betting on its own games, the league has relaxed it policies regarding betting on non-NFL games from league facilities. Per Schefter, the new punishments for such violations include:
- First violation: Two game suspension without pay
- Second violation: Six game suspension without pay
- Third violation: Suspension without pay for at least one year
Betting on non-NFL games away from team facilities remains permissible.
With the new policy going into effect, Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams and Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere will be reinstated on Monday. Both players had initially received six-game suspensions for gambling violations, but will ultimately only wind up serving four game suspensions thanks to the change in the policy.
Memo sent today to all NFL teams from Commissioner Roger Goodell: pic.twitter.com/r5wustmmRR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 29, 2023
Since 2022, the NFL has suspended nearly a dozen players and coaches for gambling violations. The most notable came in 2022 when then-Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games during the 2021 season. Ridley, who was later traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, was reinstated ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Sports betting is now legal in 37 states in the U.S., as well as Washington D.C., since the Supreme Court struck down the country’s federal ban in 2018.