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NFL slot machines debut on casino floors

Money changes everything.

It wasn’t that long ago that the NFL, hiding firmly behind its pearl-clutching hatred of All Things Gambling, prevented Tony Romo from hosting a fantasy football convention at a hotel owned by a casino. Even though there was and would have been no gambling on the property.

Now, the NFL is all in. Figuratively and literally.

Via Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, NFL Super Bowl Jackpots slot machines made their debut on Thursday at casinos in Southern California, Oklahoma, and Connecticut. They will show up in Las Vegas, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, and Oregon this month.

Consider the names of the machines. The words “Super Bowl” are among the most zealously guarded of all NFL-owned intellectual properties. Companies who don’t fill the NFL’s coffers with cash have to call it the “Big Game” or something like that, or face cease-and-desist orders. Now, the words will be intertwined with the most basic of gambling activities — the one-arm bandit that is specifically designed to ensure that, over time, the player loses and the house wins.

It’s another example of the NFL’s inherent hypocrisy regarding gambling, a two-faced approach that makes it difficult if not impossible to have any true moral authority regarding efforts to impose and to enforce gambling-related rules against players.

Eventually, there will be a reckoning. Until then, the league will keep stuffing as much money as possible into its pockets.