When the Raiders first announced they were exploring Las Vegas as a possible relocation site, it looked like one of the biggest obstacles standing in their way was going to be the NFL's stance on gambling.
However, that might not be the case.
As it turns out, the Raiders might have a bigger obstacle to deal with: Owner Mark Davis is going to have to convince the NFL's other 31 owners that Vegas is a viable market.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank hasn't seen any data that suggests it is (or isn't), and it sounds like Blank would like so see a few studies done before the league's owners approve any possible relocation for the Raiders.
"I think whether or not there are enough people in Las Vegas to support a team is a question," Blank told ESPN.com Friday. "I haven't seen the data on that to support it or not support it. It's certainly a dynamic market. It's a growth market. It's got tremendous tourism, a lot of convention business. So it's certainly a consideration. We'll see what the facts bear."
"It has a flair for entertainment, and it has two million people, and they're avid sports fans, the full-time residents," Jones said, via ESPN.com. "They have a huge visiting contingent that more often than not are fans of some NFL football teams.
As for Blank, he's not saying he wouldn't vote for a possible Raiders move to Vegas. He's just saying that he'd like some more information before he potentially has to cast a vote.
"I want to see all the research on whether [Las Vegas] can support a franchise or not," Blank said. "It's no different than any other city we look at."
The good news for the Raiders is that Blank doesn't seem all that concerned about gambling.
"I think, obviously, we'd have to build a wall around the football operations and the franchise itself, which I think they can do effectively," Blank said. "That [gambling] opportunity exists in any market."
As a whole, the league seems to have softened its stance on gambling. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said on several occasions that the league won't step in if the owners approve a Raiders move to Vegas. All the Raiders have to do now is convince owners like Blank that Vegas is the right play for the NFL.