The NFL’s New Official Betting Network May Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be

With sports betting becoming legal in more states, the NFL has become more involved in the space. The league has beefed up in-house technology, dedicated security personnel and partnered with integrity firms to create a network that monitors the betting market for bettors who violate its rules.

But in a recent episode of ESPN’s ROTT, the NFL’s director of football integrity, Eric Highhill, explained that there may be other ways for players to bet illegally. These are known as “betting partnerships.” Highhill says that betting partnerships are groups of professional bettors who take over a player’s account to make wagers on NFL games and other events. In some cases, these bets are placed through third-party apps. Those apps use geolocation to detect bets being placed from prohibited locations, such as team or league facilities.

The app sends those bets to a database that monitors the betting market and flags them when they violate NFL rules. This allows the NFL to see which bets are being placed by players and other people who are prohibited from placing bets on NFL games and practices. The NFL can then identify those bets and take action, such as a suspension.

The influx of official betting has created unique challenges in college athletics, too. A recent survey of NCAA compliance directors found that 27% of autonomy schools have dealt with sports betting issues among their athletes or coaches, and some of those issues could jeopardize the health and well-being of student-athletes.