Once it was confirmed last week that the National Football League had cleared a path for the Raiders to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season, some hand-wringing resurfaced on the matter of betting on the team. The bigger question is: will bettors be able to wager on the Las Vegas Raiders?
National reviewers raised some reservations, so it’s high time to clear the air about what’s known as Regulation 22, Nevada’s gaming rules addressing sports pools. A 22-page document that outlines betting on sporting events in Nevada books, Regulation 22 encompasses everything from registration of book employees to necessities for cash on hand to pay winning stakes.
The regulation that explicitly talks about betting on pro teams in Nevada is Regulation 22.120, which states that “prohibited wagers; exception for an event other than a horse race, greyhound race or an athletic sports event.” The significant section is 1(d), and it reads:
“No wagers may be accepted or paid by any book on … any event, regardless of where it is held, involving a professional team whose home field, a court or base is in Nevada, or any event played in Nevada involving a professional team, if, not later than 30 days before an event or the beginning of a series of events, the team’s governing body files with the commission a written request that wagers on the event or series of events be prohibited and the (Nevada Gaming) Commission approves the request.”
In layman’s terms, the simple translation is: if a team’s governing body – in this context, the NFL – requests the Nevada Gaming Commission to take a game or season of games off the board 30 or more days preceding the start of the season, the five-member directive would have to consider it. It’s very likely that such an appeal would require a hearing in a public conference.
The NFL would have to make its case for explicitly eliminating Las Vegas Raiders games from the boards. There’s no uncertainty the state’s race and sports books would clash with such a pitch, and precedence and history would be on their side.
While Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, specified publicly that the league goes against gambling on its games, the bearing appears to have unstiffened in the past few months. If Goodell were to take an application to the commission, he could meet substantial gales.
Gaming Commission Chairman, Tony Alamo spoke about the issue of betting on Raiders games back in November, and said he’d be pushed to agree to outlawing bets.
“I can’t speak for the commission, but growing up in the gaming industry and trusting the integrity of the gaming industry, I have total comfort in allowing sports betting on any teams, whether they are here in Nevada — in Las Vegas, Reno or otherwise — or in other locations,” he expressed.
“The fact that the Raiders come from Oakland to Las Vegas doesn’t move my needle in any direction in terms of should we allow that to be on a sports book board or not. Nothing changed for me.” Based on that, there’s little uncertainty we’ll be making a bet on Raiders games.
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