According to a recent email from the NFLPA, sports book apps have been effectively “snitching” on players to the league office.
The email, which was obtained by ProFootballTalk, states that the NFL “learned of players using the apps at work” thanks to the monitoring/tracking technology that apps such as FanDuel use. Interestingly, the NFLPA sent the email to agents and not directly to players.
“It was as part of that monitoring that the NFL learned of the players using the apps at work in violation of NFL rules. At no time should players open or use any mobile gambling app while at work,” the NFLPA warned members in a recent email.
Back in April, the NFL suspended five players for gambling violations, including four members of the Detroit Lions: Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, Shaka Toney, Jameson Williams, and Stanley Berryhill.
The first three names on that list — Cephus, Moore, and Toney — were banned indefinitely by the NFL and will be suspended for at least one year, while Williams and Berryhill will be suspended for the first six games of the upcoming 2023 season.
According to the NFL’s official gambling policy, “NFL Personnel are strictly prohibited from participating in or facilitating any form of illegal or legal gambling.” NFL players, for example, are not even allowed to bet on an MLB game in the middle of July.
Those suspensions come a year following the high-profile suspension of 28-year-old former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who missed the entirety of the 2022 season and was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
You can read the full email from the NFL Players’ Association about sports book apps below:
“I am sure all of you have seen the recent suspensions of players that resulted from violations of the NFL Gambling Policy (which is unilaterally imposed by the NFL and not collectively bargained). These recent violations involved players placing bets using mobile apps on their phone while at work or while traveling with their teams. This is a violation of the NFL’s Gambling Policy.
“During the NFL’s investigations we have learned that these apps (like FanDuel) are highly sensitive and very sophisticated at tracking, among other things, user location to be sure that the people using the app are not ‘prohibited gamblers’ and/or that the person using the app is in a location where they are allowed to place bets on the app. We have confirmed that some states monitor/audit FanDuel and the other gambling apps to ensure that the companies are in compliance with state law. Further the apps monitor gambler activity. It was as part of that monitoring that the NFL learned of the players using the apps at work in violation of NFL rules. At no time should players open or use any mobile gambling app while at work.”
According to a CNBC report from last year, the NFL has primary partnerships with DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars and secondary deals with sports books such as BetMGM, WynnBET, Fox Bet and PointsBet.