The NFL sent a memo to league and team employees last week reminding them of the league’s gambling policies ahead of the Las Vegas Super Bowl.
On Monday, gambling was the biggest topic at Commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual State of the League news conference. Among the many gambling questions asked, Goodell answered a question about how many players and employees the league has disciplined for gambling violations.
Goodell estimated that the NFL has disciplined 13 players and 25 league and team personnel staffers for gambling violations. The rules are more strict for employees than players, because employees aren’t unionized, but no one employed by the league is allowed to bet on NFL games.
“I think it depends on the circumstances,” Goodell said of discipline for league employees. “If they were betting on NFL [games], they are terminated automatically.”
In August, several Lions staff members in various departments were fired for violating the gambling policy.
NFL players are suspended one year for betting on the league and two for betting on their team. The policies for players betting on non-NFL sports while at a team facility or on team-related travel have relaxed with first-time offenders receiving a two-game suspension without pay, second-time offenders six games and third-time offenders a year at minimum.
Any inside information or third-party betting will result in an indefinite suspension of at least one year. Any actual or attempted game fixing will result in banishment from the league.
“It’s our No. 1 objective: Gambling and outside of gambling, the integrity of our game is critical,” Goodell said. “And so we spend a lot of time focusing on that: educating, making sure that all of our personnel are aware of our gambling policies in this case or any other policy that can affect the integrity of our game. So, ultimately, that’s our primary job.”