New Jersey Politician Calls Out NFL Sports Betting Hypocrisy
The Garden State politician, and leading light in the fight to regulate US sports betting, went on a tear after being asked about the Oakland Raiders’ possible move to Las Vegas. Lesniak’s anger is well placed, given the League’s attitude toward New Jersey’s attempt to legalize sports betting.
NFL officials have long maintained that regulated wagering on NFL games could somehow mar the integrity of the game and burn fans’ trust. That attitude changed dramatically when the NFL embraced daily fantasy sports, and took sacks of sponsorship money from DraftKings and FanDuel.
In an interview with NJBiz.com, Lesniak shared his feelings on the subject and definitely didn’t hold back saying:
If there was a penalty for hypocrisy, then we should throw the flag on the NFL. The league has gone to extreme lengths to stop New Jersey from the very same behavior in which it now wants to engage. They of all people should understand that when you play the game everyone has to follow the same rules.
One of the reason the NFL is even considering Las Vegas as the home of the Raiders is that team owner Mark Davis has pledged $500 million to build a new stadium there; the Sands Corporation has pledged another $150 million; and a proposed hotel tax would cover the rest of the projected costs. That, in Lesniak’s eyes, “clearly resemebles,” the tactics used by the organized crime groups the League supposedly is trying to avoid.
Lesniak went on to say that he hoped that the judges considering New Jersey’s request to regulate sports betting are paying attention to the situation in Las Vegas.