Gambling in the NFL has clearly become a problem as of late. Five total players from the Detroit Lions and Washington Commanders were suspended for gambling violations just last month, and a new report indicates more could be on the way. Per ESPN, the NFL is investigating a second wave of potential violations of its gambling policy.
According to The Athletic, at least one of the players being investigated in this second wave was a member of the 2022 Lions. If the player in question were suspended, he would be the fifth member of the team to be hit with a ban stemming from violations of the gambling policy.
Legal sports gambling is becoming more widespread, and the NFL is adapting to that. Third parties in partnership with the league are now using geolocation to identify bets placed from prohibited jurisdictions, like team facilities, per ESPN. Additionally, there are reportedly companies developing platforms that can track bets placed by players and coaches. In this situation, the NFL could provide a list of "prohibited bettors" to the platform, and that list would be shared with sportsbooks. If one of those names attempts to place a wager they shouldn't, the transaction would be flagged.
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NFL players can legally bet on sports that are not the NFL, but they cannot place any wager from team facilities or while traveling with the team. That's what Lions wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill III were caught doing. Both were handed six-game suspensions.
Lions wideout Quintez Cephus, safety C.J. Moore and Commanders pass-rusher Shaka Toney were caught gambling on NFL games, however, and handed indefinite suspensions that will keep them out of the league for at least one year. Berryhill, Cephus and Moore were all released.
We aren't too far removed from the last gambling-related suspension, either, as former Atlanta Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley was suspended for what ended up being one year for betting on NFL games just last offseason. A total of seven NFL players, at least one assistant coach and an unknown number of team employees have violated the league's gambling policy in the last five years. The NFL said it has found no evidence of game manipulation.