NFL Commish Roger Goodell Urges Congress to Enact ‘Uniform’ Gambling Rules

Roger Goodell
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is urging Congress to create national rules for sports gambling, to get ahead of the wave of disparate rules that will likely come after a recent Supreme Court ruling that quashed a national gambling ban.

A week ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association shot down federal rules that prohibited sports gambling in most U.S. states. Some feel the ruling opened the door for the states to make their own rules for sports gambling. However, the NFL is unhappy with the idea that so many different rules for sports gambling might take effect.

Now, on the tail of the ruling, Goodell is speaking out, according to Pro Football Talk.

In recent comments, the NFL commish asked Congress for a “core regulatory framework” to govern sports gambling.

“As it was for my predecessors, there is no greater priority for me as the Commissioner of the National Football League than protecting the integrity of our sport,” Goodell said in a statement. “Our fans, our players, and our coaches deserve to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure no improper influences affect how the game is played on the field. This week’s ruling by the Supreme Court has no effect on that unwavering commitment.”

Goodell went on to note that the league will train members on gambling and will work to support “commonsense legislation that protects our players, coaches, and fans and maintains public confidence in our games.”

Goodell also laid out four points for the league’s efforts on gambling:

  • There must be substantial consumer protections;
  • Sports leagues can protect our content and intellectual property from those who attempt to steal or misuse it;
  • Fans will have access to official, reliable league data; and
  • Law enforcement will have the resources, monitoring and enforcement tools necessary to protect our fans and penalize bad actors here at home and abroad.

At least one U.S. Senator has already foreseen the problem of having all 50 states come up with their own gambling rules. Utah Republican Orin Hatch recently reported that he will soon introduce legislation to nationalize sports gambling rules.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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