The relationship between the NFL and sports betting is ever-evolving, and accordingly, so is the NFL Gambling Policy. The policy is regularly reviewed with personnel and players, leading to adjustments of the policy over time. Here are the current guidelines that make up the NFL gambling policy.
What Is the NFL’s Gambling Policy?
When it comes to NFL personnel and NFL games, the policy is simple, it is a no-go area. All betting on NFL games is prohibited for NFL personnel, with no excuses. The policy states that “All NFL Personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating
any bet, whether directly or indirectly through a third-party, on any NFL game, practice or other event. This includes betting on game outcome, statistics, score, performance of any individual
participant, or any other kind of “proposition bet” on which wagering is offered.”
As part of that, it is stated that “NFL Personnel shall not throw or fix any NFL game or in any way influence its outcome, statistics, or score; or otherwise manipulate or attempt to manipulate any other aspect of any NFL game for a gambling-related purpose.” They go on to state that this includes “accepting a bribe, or otherwise agreeing to throw, fix or influence a game, as well as failing to report any bribe, offer, or attempt to do so.”
There are further sections of the NFL Gambling Policy that include the mention of giving their best effort and all time, and a section covering the provision of providing non-public or confidential information. This includes the passing of that information through a third party.
Further parts of the policy cover NFL players not having an association with “persons generally known to be professional, problem, and/or sports gamblers, in a manner that discredits the reputation of the NFL, NFL Players or the game.” There is also a provision with regard to players accepting gifts or services from a casino or other gambling-related establishments. These must not exceed $250, according to the most recent publicly available version of the policy.
Can NFL Players Bet On Other Sports?
Where things get a little more cloudy is when it comes to betting on other sports. The most recent version of the policy allows NFL players to bet on other sports than the NFL. However, NFL Personnel are not allowed the same level of freedom. NFL Personnel are not allowed to participate in any sports betting.
Additionally, the policy states that players must not bet on other sports while inside an NFL facility. Players are allowed to play cards or other casino-type games as long as they are not wagering anything of value during those games.
Why Did Jameson Williams Get Suspended?
The suspension of Jameson Williams falls under the betting inside an NFL facility clause of the NFL Gambling Policy. That is considered to be a far less serious breach of the rules than betting on NFL games themselves. Therefore, he received a six-game suspension, as opposed to the “indefinite” suspensions handed down to the likes of Calvin Ridley, Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, and Shaka Toney.
Williams will be suspended for the first six games of the Detroit Lions season. However, he is eligible to play in preseason games, as well as partake in training camp and other team activities during the offseason.