Thanks to the United States Supreme Court voting 6-3 in favor of striking down a federal law in place since 1992 that prohibited most states from authorizing and accepting wagers on sporting events, sports betting is the new taboo term darkening NFL locker rooms.
With many current players prohibited from remotely touching the sports betting topic of discussion, it has been up to those whose football career has ended to give the world a somewhat accurate feel of the NFL’s true stance on gambling.
Though players past and present don’t really care for the big shadow betting has casted over their sport and over the sports world in general, they all admit it’s probably here to stay once people get use to it. Because regardless whether you are a player, fan or just follow sports, odds are that you have or know someone who has gambled on a sporting event during the last year.
Get More Sports was on scene at the 2018 National Fantasy Football Convention last weekend in Dallas, and we caught up with some former Cowboys players to talk about sports betting, fantasy football and the season ahead.
Kevin Smith, a three-time Super Bowl champion, talked about how he expects a ton of money to be generated with the legalization of sports betting in the U.S., and how he doesn’t think wagering will negatively impact the integrity of the game. He also discussed occasions in college when friends would ask him who was playing or which teammates were injured in order to gain inside gambling information.
But even more interesting in Smith’s exclusive interview with GMS, was the job-retaining requirements the organization has potentially placed on Jason Garrett and his coaching staff.
“They are young, they only have three players over 30 years old,” Smith said. “Jason Garrett is not young. He’s been there awhile and part of the coaching staff has been there awhile. So there are some expectations that eight, nine or 10 games is what Jason is going to need. If not, they’re going to have to start over with a new, young coaching staff with that young team.”
Another former member of the Dallas Cowboys franchise, wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, chimed in on the overture of PASPA by the Supreme Court. He acknowledged the public’s desire to gamble on sports, but he outlined a cautious approach due to some of the “personalities” associated with the sports betting business.
“It might be a little hectic with some of those mafia, corrupted people that are still out there because there is a history between gambling and games that’s sort of tricky,” Kevin Ogletree told GetMoreSports.com. “People love sports and betting so it’s going to be interesting, but I don’t think it will change the interest level (of football).”
If sports betting needs an example of surviving in the NFL world despite entering it with a lot of negativity, all one has to do is look at the plight of fantasy football.
Despite its soaring popularity among fans, fantasy football has had a bit of a taboo stigma attached to it due to the gambling aspect associated with it, particularly the Daily Fantasy Sports side.
That stigma was so big, the first two years the National Fantasy Football Convention attempted to hold events in Las Vegas and Pasadena, the NFL halted the meetings. After a successful event by the NFFC last weekend in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, where close to 200 current and former NFL players attended, it’s safe the to say fantasy football is the blueprint the sports betting world should follow if it wants to become a fixture in the NFL.
GMS sat down with NFL Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas to get his take on fantasy football, and sports betting.
“I can’t really sit up here and say how it’s going to affect anybody, I just hope it doesn’t come to a point where it affects the players on the football field or fans doing something crazy,” Thomas said. “The world is changing, things are changing for a lot of different sports, so hopefully it will be good for the NFL.”
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