NFL officials have responded to a recent query from Nevada Rep. Diane Titus about league gambling policies with a call for Congress to crack down on black market betting sites. Titus wrote a letter to the NFL back in June as part of an inquiry into the growing number of gambling-related player suspensions, but must have been surprised at the League’s salty response.
In a letter to Rep. Titus, which was obtained by Sports Business Journal,NFL VP of Public Policy and Government Affairs Jonathan Nabavi turned the tables on the Congresswoman, points out what the League is already doing, and what Congress isn’t doing. The three-page letter includes a detailed description of what the NFL is already doing with Nabavi pointing out, “The NFL has a robust integrity and compliance program, designed to prevent and mitigate risk to game integrity. The program includes a comprehensive and straightforward Gambling Policy coupled with extensive education efforts including significant in-person training.”
Once Nabavi has explained what the NFL is doing to mitigate gambling issues, he turns his sights on what Congress should be doing; cracking down on black market gambling sites. “Congress and the federal government have a unique role to play in bringing enforcement actions against illegal operators,” the letter stated. “WE believe that additional attention and resources are needed from lawmakers and law-enforcement to address the illicit sports betting market, which still has the power of incumbency,” he added.
So far this year, 11 NFL players have been suspended for violating NFL gambling policies. Given the stakes for so many young players who seemingly do not understand the gravity of gambling on their own sport, Congress and the NFL are right to focus their attention on this issue.
As of this writing, Titus had not responded to Nabavi’s letter.