The NFL seems to have learned of these violations from one or more sports book partners who have tracked user location and activity using highly sophisticated technology.
The league’s gambling policy, which is unilaterally imposed by the NFL and not collectively bargained, prohibits players from betting on pro football or any other sport. While the teams have every reason to warn players about the policy, the NFLPA has not explained why it chose to send the email to agents instead of the players themselves, reported Pro Football Talk.
The NFL’s investigations have revealed that some states monitor and audit gambling apps such as FanDuel to ensure compliance with state law. The apps themselves are also highly sensitive and can detect whether users are prohibited from gambling or are in a location where they are allowed to place bets. The NFLPA’s warning to agents seems to suggest that the union may hold agents responsible for not warning their players about the policy if violations continue to occur.
Players Advised to Heed Warnings as NFL Already Suspended Detroit Lions for Gambling
Despite the warnings, some players may still choose to gamble on their phones, either because they are not paying attention or do not care about the consequences. However, the league and its sports book partners are actively monitoring user activity and location, and they will take swift and serious action against any players found to be in violation of the gambling policy.
Players are advised to heed the warnings and refrain from using mobile gambling apps while at work or traveling with their teams. The NFLPA may have sent the email to agents as a way to remind them of their responsibilities to their clients, but ultimately it is up to the players themselves to comply with the league’s gambling policy and avoid the risk of suspension.
Just last week the NFL suspended five players, including four Detroit Lions, for violating the league’s gambling policy. Two players received indefinite suspensions, while the remaining three were suspended for six games each.
Although no evidence of insider information or compromise of any game was found, the league clarified that any violation of the gambling policy will result in appropriate action. The suspended players have accepted their suspensions and expressed regret for their actions, while the Lions have released the two suspended players, who placed bets on NFL games.