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New Sports Deal


THE DANGERS OF LEGALIZING SPORTS BETTING FOR STATES: JOSH SHAW OF THE ARIZONA CARDINALS BET ON FOOTBALL, NOW SUSPENDED 

December 3, 2019

THE DANGERS OF LEGALIZING SPORTS BETTING FOR STATES: JOSH SHAW OF THE ARIZONA CARDINALS BET ON FOOTBALL, NOW SUSPENDED 

December 3, 2019 | Category: New Sports Deal 

Since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 issued its ruling authorizing sports gambling, there have been legal sportsbooks opened in twelve states, excluding Nevada. With legalization in more states on the horizon, athletes have a new temptation that can get them into serious trouble.

For the NFL, if you work for them in any way, you are strictly prohibited from gambling on any NFL football. Many other professional leagues have a similar rule. Unfortunately, for Arizona Cardinals Defensive Back Josh Shaw, he did not follow this rule. Although he has been on injured reserve since August of this year and has not played with Arizona since signing in March, he is still a part of the team and subject to all NFL betting rules. Shaw laid down a bet on November 10, 2019 at Caesar’s Sportsbook in Las Vegas for a three game parlay, which included his own team (Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Arizona Cardinals). Although to date the NFL’s investigation has found that Shaw did not use insider information for his bets nor did his bets compromise any of the games (and he lost his bet), he was suspended by the NFL through at least 2020 for betting on multiple occasions. 

Professional athletes and organizations need to take a critical look at the Shaw case and learn a very important lesson, as this issue is only going to get hotter.

 Hot Takes:

  1. Professional organizations, such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, and NHL should implement educational courses on its sports betting policies; this could be done either through the league or a mandate that the individual teams educate its players. The league and teams need to get ahead of this problem early and often.
  2. Professional athletes need to understand league rules and make sure they are up to speed on their league’s policies.  This is not for just sports betting, but for other trouble spot issues such as social media, drugs, alcohol, and domestic violence.
  3. Knowledge is power. Allegedly, when Shaw filled out his Caesar’s sports gambling application out, he listed that he was a professional football player. Is it possible he did not know his employer’s policy on this topic? If not, ignorance is no excuse and leagues clearly will not and did not sympathize. 
  4. For professional athletes, abstinence is the best policy when it comes to sports betting. We have all seen the road Pete Rose has taken, and he still has not been reinstated by Major League Baseball. There is no reason to take the risk that Josh Shaw did by placing sports bets, and I can think of multiples of millions of reasons why.

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