The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Can NFL Players Bet On Other Sports?

The world of sports betting has grown tremendously over the past few years. With more states legalizing online sports betting, both fans and players alike are taking advantage of new opportunities. However, strict league policies still govern what NFL personnel can and cannot do when it comes to wagering on sporting events. So, can NFL players bet on other sports besides professional football?

Where To Bet With The Best Odds?

Now that you are about to know if NFL players can legally bet on sports besides football, signing up at leading online sportsbooks allows everyone to put their knowledge to the test. And at ClutchBet Sportsbook, new players can use the clutchbet promotion code to qualify for an exclusive welcome bonus.

NFL Gambling Policy

The NFL has strict policies outlined in their Gambling Policy for Players document. This comprehensive guide breaks down what is prohibited and permitted in detail. Here are some of the key points:

  • All NFL personnel, including players, coaches, officials, and staff cannot bet on NFL games or any performance or event associated with the league.
  • NFL players are allowed to place wagers on other professional sports besides football.
  • All other NFL personnel cannot bet on any other sports besides the NFL.
  • Players must report debts over $10,000 related to gambling.
  • Everyone is required to report violations or potential violations of gambling policy.

As you can see, the rules treat players differently than coaches, staff, and other personnel when it comes to betting on sports outside of football. But why is this the case?

Why Can Players Bet When Others Can’t?

Based on the NFL’s statement, the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association protects players’ rights when it comes to “casual betting on other sports.”
These negotiated player rights likely remain in place to prevent too many overarching restrictions on players’ personal lives. After all, playing in the NFL already comes with many stringent rules compared to other jobs. Allowing players to enjoy placing casual wagers helps balance things out while still prioritizing the integrity of NFL games above all else.

However, coaches, team staff, officials, and anyone involved in league operations cannot bet on any sports, period. The NFL draws a firm line for these personnel. Anyone with potential insider access or influence cannot gamble at all to avoid even the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest.

What Sports Can NFL Players Bet On?

NFL players can wager on any and all professional sports except games associated with the NFL itself. Some examples of permitted wagers include:

  • Other pro leagues like the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, PGA, ATP, NASCAR, etc.
  • Olympics and international competitions like the World Cup
  • Virtual sports and esports leagues

So NFL players have plenty of betting options to choose from.

Punishments for NFL Gambling Violations

While policies allow NFL players to bet on sports besides football, individuals still get punished for breaking the rules. Here are two recent high-profile examples of NFL gambling policy violations and subsequent discipline:

Calvin Ridley

In March 2022, the NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley indefinitely through at least the conclusion of the 2022 season for betting on NFL games. Notably, Ridley placed online sports bets while away from the team facility during a five-day period in November 2021. So, even though he was separated from the team at the time, any NFL wagering strictly goes against policy.

Miles Austin

Also in 2022, the NFL handed at least a one year suspension to Miles Austin, wide receivers coach for the New York Jets. Austin reportedly bet on sports other than football, and participated in online casino gaming. Even though these wagers occurred on sports like basketball and hockey, Austin’s role as a coach prohibits him from betting on anything at all. And his suspension shows the NFL enforced that policy quite strictly.

As you can see, both players and personnel face stiff punishments for violating gambling policies. Everyone knows the repercussions ahead of time too.

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