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NFL Teams Receive Briefing On 'Secret' Sports Betting Study: Report

Owners Meeting Features Info On Gambling Landscape

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Whether Roger Goodell publicly admits it or not, the NFL appears eager to embrace sports betting should the U.S. Supreme Court allow it to be legalized in all 50 states.

The annual NFL owners meeting was held this week in Orlando, Florida, and while a plethora of issues affecting the league were discussed, sports betting proliferation, arguably the most disruptive development to the status quo, was apparently a hot topic. The highest court in the land is expected by mid-year to in some way dismantle a 1992 federal law that banned sports books outside of Nevada. Doing so would bring an estimated $150 billion sports betting black market into the crosshairs of state coffers. It would also be a boon for a U.S. casino industry that’s in search of new winnings.

According to a report from the NFL Network, the owners were presented with a “previously secret study on gambling” that brought them up to speed on what will happen after the Supreme Court ruling. Thanks to the hyper-conservative nature of the NFL, and the fact that gambling is still seen as taboo in some parts of the country, the league has been reluctant to publicly support reform.

The presentation of the gambling study came on the heels of final details emerging for the upcoming stadium for the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders. Nevada regulators also recently decided to allow bets on the NFL Draft for just the second time ever.

“We have to be prepared for any alternative,” Goodell said vaguely of sports betting in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published last week.

Last summer, the Supreme Court turned heads when it announced it would hear New Jersey’s arguments that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is unconstitutional. A hearing was held in December and the justices have been deliberating ever since.