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Can NFL Players Bet on Sports? Are Footballers Allowed to Gamble?

Neha Joshi

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In the age of technology, fans and players from different parts of the world can easily bet on whatever games they wish. As everything is just a click away, sometimes, even professional athletes can get enticed by the world of betting. However, this can have drastic repercussions. Though the NFL has numerous collaborations with gambling businesses and casinos nationwide, it is not allowed for any NFL personnel to bet on league games. They are prohibited from betting on games, stats, scores, individual players, or individual performances.

This one rule will never change because it can massively bring down the overall credibility of the sport. This important rule is taught in training sessions for rookies, players, staff, and officials as well.

Are NFL players allowed to bet on other sports?

This is where the league gives some leeway to its players. It is in fact allowed for NFL players to bet on sporting events that have nothing to do with football. Under this law, the players are allowed to bet on Formula 1, basketball, hockey, and other sports. Therefore, while it is against the law to bet on NFL games for football stars, it is legal for them to bet on NBA, MLB, NHL, etc.

Players can use appropriate apps and bet on other sports apart from the NFL in their state of residency or region. Additionally, they can also bet on athletics. However, betting on college football is not advised. While the rules have been laid out nicely by the NFL, they have been breached by a few players and as expected, they had to face severe repercussions for their actions.

NFL players & coaches who got punished for gambling

Calvin Ridley was suspended indefinitely while with the Atlanta Falcons in 2022. He gambled on the league’s games, including on Falcons players. In an article he wrote for The Players’ Tribune, Ridley accepted that he had placed a bet on the game.

He wrote, “One day, I saw a TV commercial for a betting app, and for whatever reason, I downloaded it on my phone. I deposited like $1,500 total, literally just for something to do. I was going to bet like $200 on some NBA games that night, but then I just added a bunch more games to a parlay. I put the Falcons in on it. I was just doing it to root for my boys, basically. I didn’t have any inside information. I wasn’t even talking to anybody on the team at the time. I was totally off the grid.”

Miles Austin, the wide receivers coach for the New York Jets, got suspended by the league for gambling in December 2022. There was no indication that he had placed bets on NFL games as a coach, but he reportedly did violate the the league’s gambling policy.

In 1963, former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras and former Green Bay Packers RB Paul Hornung were suspended for the entire 1963 season for betting on NFL games.

About the author

Neha Joshi

Neha Joshi


Neha Joshi started following NFL as a way to pass time. Soon it became her passion and ended up writing about the sport. Her favorite player is Aaron Rodgers because he is wayward and unpredictable. Apart from football, she loves reading Thomas Hardy, Vladimir Nabokov, and Michel Foucault.

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