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NFL's Roger Goodell Says He Doesn't Want Games To Be Fixed

Commissioner Acknowledges 'Changes' To Sports Betting Climate


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has tip-toed around the issue of sports betting, and he continued dancing around it in an interview Wednesday with ESPN Radio.

Spoiler: Goodell doesn’t want football games to be fixed. Who knew?

Goodell’s comments came on the heels of the casino industry saying that an estimated $4.76 billion will be bet on the upcoming Super Bowl. The casino industry has long argued that by regulating sports betting nationwide you can end the black market and protect game integrity. Despite this, the NFL historically has been a staunch opponent of legalized sports wagering.

“To me it’s very clear, which is about the integrity of the game,” Goodell told the talk show Golic and Wingo. “You don’t want to do anything that’s going to impact negatively on the integrity of our game. You want to be certain that there are no outside influences on our game and that fans don’t even have any issues on that. They understand whether there’s a perception or not that there’s no influence on our game. That’s something that we stand firmly behind, the integrity of our game.”

Goodell, who became NFL Commissioner in 2006, did acknowledge the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the constitutionality of a 1992 law that banned traditional sports betting outside of Nevada casinos. The Court is expected to strike down the law in some form.

“We see changes going on, obviously,” Goodell said. “I don’t think 10 years ago most people would have looked at having an NFL franchise or NHL franchise in Las Vegas. Clearly, there are changes occurring. The Supreme Court is considering changes, potentially, in laws with respect to gambling across our country, and I think we’re going to be prepared as a league to address those no matter how the Supreme Court comes out and how things evolve. We’re going to protect the integrity of the game, I assure you of that.”

Last year, the NFL owners voted nearly unanimously to allow the Raiders to move to Sin City. A $2 billion stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders is currently in development.

Tags: NFL,   Football,   Goodell,   Sports Betting,   Super Bowl