Report: NFL makes major changes to gambling policies, set to reinstate 2 promising youngsters

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL reportedly is modifying its policies related to sports gambling, including increased discipline for betting on league games.

The changes reportedly will allow Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams to return from his suspension sooner than originally scheduled.

The move may be in response to some players recently voicing concerns about the existing policies. The league reportedly was re-examining how it educates players and personnel.

Under the modified policies, an NFL player who bets on league games would receive a one-year suspension and a bet on one’s own team would result in a two-year ban. Fixing a game would result in banishment.

The new policies are clarifying the punishments for non-NFL bets made from the workplace. Those changes are resulting in Williams being reinstated on Monday and allowed to play in Week 5. This also applies to Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere.

At the time of his original suspension, Williams released a statement through his representation that said it was due to a technical rule regarding the location from where the bet was placed, saying it was a wager that would have been allowed if made from someplace else.

In July, the NFL suspended defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike indefinitely for violating the league’s policy on gambling. The 25-year-old then was facing a charge for tampering with records related to the wagers.

The NFL has suspended 10 players this year for violations of its gambling policy, seven indefinitely and three for six games, including Williams. The first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft had his rookie season limited by his recovery from a knee injury he suffered while at the University of Alabama.

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley is playing again this season after he was reinstated in March following a suspension for at least one year for gambling while with the Atlanta Falcons.

The league and its union must be hopeful that these revisions make the policies easier to understand and will result in fewer suspensions going forward, with the added notion that betting on NFL games will continue to draw very harsh punishments.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.