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Hours after the NFL announced that the Oakland Raiders would be moving to Las Vegas, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) issued a statement.
“Today, the NFL owners almost unanimously voted to approve the Raiders organization move to Las Vegas. This move is a clear sign that the league owners’ attitudes toward sports betting has changed. I hope that following today’s vote, I can count on the support of the NFL and the NFL team owners for my efforts to legalize and regulate sports betting.”
Nevada is the only place in the US with legal single-game sports wagering. A federal law — PASPA — prevents it elsewhere. Many have called the move to Las Vegas a sea change for the future of legal sports betting in the US.
Pallone, like others, is hoping that the NFL will change its tune when it comes to sports betting. So far, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have remain staunchly opposed to sports betting of any type and are plaintiffs in the NJ case.
The Las Vegas Raiders definitely would never have happened a decade ago (or even more recently) because of concerns about sports betting. But that’s also a far cry from the NFL flat out supporting regulated sports betting.
Goodell, in an interview earlier on Monday, said the NFL isn’t changing its position on sports betting.
Pallone and other House Democrats have been busy pushing back against the agenda of President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress of late.
But trying to bring sports betting to New Jersey has been one of his signature issues. He helped orchestrate a Congressional hearing on sports betting and daily fantasy sports. And he once again introduced legislation to attempt to change federal sports betting law.
Will Pallone get the support of the NFL on sports betting in the short term? Probably not. But it was a good opportunity to point out that the NFL is moving to the home of sports betting, and the integrity of its games is not in danger.