The Oakland Raiders have a conditional lease agreement in place for the team’s new stadium in Las Vegas. As it stands now, the agreement will allow fans inside the stadium to place bets on games from their phones, according to ESPN’s David Perdum.
The NFL has strict rules about gambling, which adds another wrinkle to the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. The team’s lease for the new stadium does include a provision banning any gaming or gambling, but nothing in the lease would keep fans from placing bets via one of many sportsbook apps.
It is possible to block access to sports betting apps inside the stadium using geolocation technology. That’s something the league could pursue through the Nevada Gaming Commission, but they haven’t done so yet.
"The Nevada Gaming Commission is the policy maker for the state of Nevada and gaming, and (the NFL has) not approached us in any shape, way or form,” Tony Alamo, the Nevada Gaming Commission chairman, told ESPN.
It’s a sticky situation for the NFL, which has typically not been flexible about the rules on gambling. The league even fined several players for participating in an arm wrestling competition this spring because it was held in a casino.
But mobile betting isn’t a new problem for the league. Gambling is legal in England, and with games in London each year, the NFL has had to navigate this issue already. During London games, the betting kiosks inside Wembley Stadium are unavailable, but fans are still able to make bets through smartphone apps.
The NFL didn’t have much to say about the matter. Spokesman Brian McCarthy simply said that the Raiders are required to abide by league rules.
NFL owners meet this week in Chicago, and they are expected vote on whether or not to ratify the Raiders’ lease.