Can NFL players bet on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas?

Feb 7, 2024

For the first time in NFL history, the Super Bowl will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. As expected, the chosen location has brought up a lot of questions regarding NFL players and other professional athletes betting on the big game. The short answer is no - NFL players can’t bet on the Super Bowl. Let’s take a deeper dive into the gambling rules by the NFL and other professional sports since this year’s Super Bowl is in Sin City.

Rules for players playing in the Super Bowl 

Even though the Super Bowl is being played in the gambling mecca of the country, the rules regarding players betting on the NFL have stayed the same. The NFL has made it crystal clear that all NFL players are forbidden from betting on NFL games. The policy states, “All NFL Personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet, whether directly or indirectly through a third party, on any NFL game, practice or other event.”

That means no Chiefs or 49ers players can place a bet on Super Bowl 58. If a player breaks that rule, they are subject to a lengthy suspension. However, the NFL is aware that having a Super Bowl in Vegas could be tempting to the players with the nightlife and casinos on the Strip, so the league decided to have the Chiefs and 49ers stay 25 miles away from the Strip in Lake Las Vegas (The Athletic). 

Plus, Patrick Mahomes already told his teammates, "This is a business trip. I told the guys that if we win I'll bring everyone back to Vegas to celebrate,” per CBS Sports. It’s worth noting that the Chiefs and 49ers players will be allowed to enter casinos and gamble (but still no betting on the NFL of course) on Sunday night after the big game is over.

Rules for other NFL players in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl 

It is common for NFL players not participating in the Super Bowl to travel and watch the big game. With that said, those players are still not allowed to bet on the NFL or enter a sportsbook. Although players can never bet on an NFL game regardless of the time of year, players not playing in the Super Bowl are allowed to gamble in casinos, playing table games or slots for example. Since their season is over, the prohibition on entering casinos does not apply to those players during Super Bowl week in Vegas. 

Rules for other professional athletes attending the Super Bowl

NBA

Although the NBA is in-season and not many NBA players will be able to attend the Super Bowl, they would still be allowed to bet on it. The NBA states that players can not bet on “the NBA, summer league, WNBA, G-League, Basketball Africa League or NBA2K League,” per ESPN. However, they are allowed to bet on other sports, including the NFL. New York Knicks guard Josh Hart has gone viral for tweeting about betting on NFL games saying he does it "For the love of the game.”

NHL

The NHL is very clear in its gambling policy: “Gambling on any NHL Game is prohibited.” But similar to the NBA’s rules, players are allowed to bet on non-NHL events, including the Super Bowl. If an NHL player attends the Super Bowl, they would be allowed to bet on the game.

MLB

It is against the rules for an MLB player to bet on anything related to baseball. That includes MLB and Minor League games and fantasy baseball. However, it is permitted for them to bet on any other sport, such as the NFL’s Super Bowl. Players may gamble in "jurisdictions in which such bets are legal.”

History of the NFL and Super Bowl in Las Vegas 

A Super Bowl happening in Las Vegas seemed like a fantasy just a few years ago. However, the hub for gambling in the United States was named the host of Super Bowl 58 just a few years after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down in 2018 (USA Today). The NFL was forced to adapt to sports betting becoming a part of the game, despite the league’s previous strong resistance to its legalization. Since 2018, the NFL has partnered with numerous sportsbooks, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars.  

Relocating the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas was the first instance of the NFL and the city of Vegas building a relationship, and having the city host Super Bowl 58 demonstrates the growing trust between the two entities. This is the first Super Bowl in Las Vegas, but it likely won’t be the last.

Dangers of sports betting 

It’s important to remember that sports betting can lead to gambling addiction. Sportsbooks offer thousands of prop and novelty bets for the Super Bowl, which can lead to some people betting more money than they initially planned. Risking more than you can afford to lose can lead to mental and/or financial problems. Take the time to learn how to gamble responsibly and be sure to only bet what you can actually afford to lose.

Gambling Addiction help and resources

Fortunately, there is help available for those who may be struggling with gambling addiction. Birches Health offers convenient online care and a 24/7 care team ready to assist. All meetings with trained specialists are confidential and scheduled at convenient times that can fit your schedule.

Resources:

What Is the NFL’s Gambling Policy? NFL Betting Rules Explained (Updated 2024)

What are the NFL’s gambling rules for the Super Bowl in Las Vegas? - The Athletic

Players on the 49ers and Chiefs are barred from gambling in Vegas, until the game ends - NBC Sports

Patrick Mahomes makes pricey promise to Chiefs teammates if they keep 2024 Super Bowl a Vegas 'business trip' - CBSSports.com

What are league rules around gambling on sports? What's forbidden, getting caught and the punishment - ESPN

Twitter

What it means: Supreme Court strikes down PASPA law that limited sports betting




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