Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
San Francisco 49ers and Kansas Chiefs helmets at the ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign.
The NFL has emphasized that the gambling rules for the teams participating in Super Bowl LVIII are “no different” to any other game, despite the showpiece event being held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers on February 11 in what is perceived as the gambling capital of the US, but despite the myriad of opportunities for players to partake in betting, the NFL stressed on Tuesday that they would face the “normal course of discipline” if they were found to have done so.
“The rules are no different for the participating teams’ players and other personnel as they would be for any other game: when on business, there is no gambling, whether it be sports gambling or otherwise,” Jeff Miller – the NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy – told reporters on a conference call.
“And any player, coach, personnel, yours truly, who would be caught or identified gambling at a casino would be eligible for the disciplinary process, and that would be addressed in the normal course of discipline as we would any player or other personnel who there was evidence that was violating the rules around gambling.”
The last 12 months have seen a recent spate of gambling policy violations by NFL players; indeed, on Tuesday’s call, Miller said New England Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte is under investigation for gambling-related issues.
Players across the league received suspensions of varying degrees in the past year, with the NFL releasing a memo in June stressing the six “key rules” of its gambling policy.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
A general view of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the host for Super Bowl LVIII.
However, with the Super Bowl being held in Las Vegas for the first time ever – although both teams are staying roughly 25 miles from the Strip, the location of many of the city’s casinos – the opportunities to gamble are plentiful.
But in an effort to preserve the “integrity” of the game, players from the two teams will not be able to bet as they will be “on business” as Miller said.
“We think about sports betting at the NFL every day, and you could distill it all down to two things: it’s through a prism of protecting game integrity, and then delivering experiences for fans that are interested in sports betting,” David Highhill, the NFL’s general manager of sports betting, said on Tuesday’s call.
“And I think those are the two primary orientations that we’re all working together to accomplish both at the same time.”