The Raiders are still a few years removed from moving into their new home in Las Vegas, which allows for some time to work on closing a fairly significant loophole that could allow for gambling from the seats at Raiders home games.
The lease being used by the Raiders and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority prohibits “any Gaming or Gambling, the maintaining or operating of a Gaming Establishment and/or sports wagering or any wagering on racing or other non-sports events,” which is surely what the NFL would have wanted to have included as it moves a franchise to Las Vegas. Remember, the NFL has an archaic stance against gambling and puts on a charade in suggesting the league is anti-gambling despite mandating injury reports and allowing for partnerships with daily fantasy sports companies and running their own fantasy football leagues on the NFL’s official website.
But there is one key loophole that could be exploited by fans in the stands at Raiders games, as pointed out by The Washington Post.
“[Since] 2006, the Nevada gaming laws have approved of the use of handheld devices for gambling from anywhere inside Nevada state lines. And through that loophole, fans in attendance at Raiders home games should be able to legally place bets from their seats.”
Oh, you better believe fans will take advantage of that loophole. When it is becoming easier and easier to place bets on a phone from anywhere in the world, placing a few bucks on something going on during a home Raiders game can be done in a matter of seconds. Mobile sports betting has more than doubled in numbers in the state of Nevada from 2012 and 2016, and as much as half of the bets placed in 2020 in Nevada could be placed through a mobile device. That’s when the Raiders are expected to have settled into their new football complex in Las Vegas.
If the NFL is going to allow a team to move to Las Vegas, it must start approaching issues related to gambling differently, and more progressively. The NFL cannot step in and prevent fans from placing bets on their phones unless they can somehow shut out all fans from mobile carriers once within the stadium, and that will never happen.
The NFL hardly has any jurisdiction over this policy as well, as the Nevada Gaming Commission does not answer to the NFL, despite how mighty the NFL shield can be. It’s possible this loophole will not be closed, although there is plenty of time to address such a concern if there really is any pressure from the NFL to address it.