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Is gambling good for the NFL?

It’s here to stay, but we can talk about it

Syndication: NorthJersey Keldy Ortiz/

Gambling, whether people are fans of it or not, is here to stay as part of the National Football League experience. If anyone wants to throw down some money on the Minnesota Vikings or any other team or any number of prop bets, they can go to their local sportsbook (in an increasing number of states) or any of a number of websites to do just that.

But is gambling a good thing for the NFL and its fans? I’m sure that folks have opinions on that and that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

Honestly, I have no problem with gambling on the NFL, though it’s something that I rarely engage in personally. Frankly, I’ve gotten to the point where I really don’t even play a lot of fantasy football anymore, at least compared to what I used to in my younger years.

(Except for Norse Code’s annual “Hell League,” which I participate in almost entirely because I hate myself. It’s a requirement for being in the league, I believe.)

I’m not terribly into the business of trying to tell people what they can and can’t do with their own money and/or time, so if grown adults want to add to their excitement or anxiety by throwing down some money on a game or two, then more power to them. Obviously, I hope that folks don’t allow those sorts of things to get out of control and ruin their lives, but there are resources that they or their loved ones can put them in contact with if that happens.

Over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve seen a few stories of NFL players getting suspended for betting on games, some of which were NFL games and a couple of guys that even bet on their own team. As someone that’s old enough to remember the Pete Rose scandal and the fallout from it, the NFL is doing the right thing by dropping the hammer on guys that are betting on NFL games, particularly ones they could have a direct effect on.

Some of these suspensions have been for betting on sporting events other than NFL games but doing so from a team-connected facility. I can understand why some people don’t see this as a big deal, but honestly. . .these guys can’t wait until they get home or at least out of the parking lot or something before they do this sort of thing? Ignorance of the rules is no excuse, and these guys all knew the rules when they logged in to place their bets and whatever else. If a member of the Vikings is dumb enough to do that sort of thing, they’d deserve the same sort of treatment that the players that have already gotten disciplined by the NFL have received.

Again, these things are just one man’s opinion, but I’m interested to hear your thoughts on gambling and the National Football League. Whether it’s on a personal level or what’s happening with some of the league’s players, sound off on the topic in the comments section below.