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Las Vegas mayor: Stadium, not gambling, is the issue

Las Vegas Strip Exteriors

Las Vegas Strip Exteriors

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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman doesn’t think gambling is going to be a problem for the NFL as her city tries to attract a team.

Goodman said this morning on ESPN that in her quest to get an NFL team in her city, she hasn’t even discussed gambling regulations, such as whether there would be restrictions on sports books taking bets on games played in Las Vegas. What Goodman thinks will matter is whether the city and the state legislature can work out a deal to build a first-class NFL stadium.

“We’ve had years and years of experience in how to set regulations and enforce them. But I really don’t believe it’s going to be an issue for us at all,” she said. “At this point, the first step is to work through those numbers to make sure we can get a stadium built, do it high quality and most importantly in the right location.”

Goodman noted that there’s plenty of legal gambling in London, another market where the NFL is trying to expand, and there are plenty of casinos near NFL stadiums. Goodman thinks that if the Nevada legislature approves spending $750 million on building a stadium in Las Vegas, that will be enough to lure an NFL team, most likely the Raiders.

And she’s probably right about that. If NFL owners had a problem with playing in America’s gambling capital, they’d be speaking out against it. Instead, they’re raising no objections. If Nevada is going to give the NFL a new stadium, the NFL is going to stop caring that Nevada has legal sports gambling.