Read Roger Goodell’s statement on legalized sports betting

Roger Goodell
Roger Goodell in 2017. –AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File

As Roger Goodell and the NFL prepares for a future with legalized sports betting, the commissioner wants to ensure that Congress protects the integrity of the sport.

On May 14, the Supreme Court ruled that a federal ban on sports betting is unconstitutional and opened the door for states to legalize the action. Billions of dollars are wagered on the NFL, in particular its Super Bowl, each year. In a statement, Goodell said that the league is “doing everything possible to ensure no improper influences affect how the game is played on the field.”

As part of that effort, the commissioner will ask Congress to pass uniform standards across the states that choose to legalize sports betting. The NFL hopes those standards include measures that protect consumers, as well as the league’s intellectual property.

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Here’s the complete statement from the NFL commissioner on sports betting:

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.  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. Last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court has no effect on that unwavering commitment.

We have spent considerable time planning for the potential of broadly legalized sports gambling and are prepared to address these changes in a thoughtful and comprehensive way, including substantial education and compliance trainings for our clubs, players, employees and partners. These efforts include supporting commonsense legislation that protects our players, coaches and fans and maintains public confidence in our games. We are asking Congress to enact uniform standards for states that choose to legalize sports betting that include, at a minimum, four core principles:

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