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NFLPA advises agents that sports books are snitching on players who use gambling apps

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect the news Jameson Williams, Stanley Berryhill, C.J. Moore, Quintez Cephus and Shaka Toney were suspended for violating the NFL gambling policy.

It’s been obvious that the NFL is catching players who gamble in violation of league policy not by any high-end sleuthing activities but by having the proof fall into its lap, thanks to one or more sports book partners.

That seems to be exactly what’s happening.

The NFL Players Association has sent an email to all agents alerting them to the fact that recent suspensions arose from players using mobile apps on their phones, either while at work or while traveling with their teams.

“I am sure all of you have seen the recent suspensions of players that resulted from violations of the NFL Gambling Policy (which is unilaterally imposed by the NFL and not collectively bargained),” the email to all contract advisors, a copy of which PFT has obtained, explains. “These recent violations involved players placing bets using mobile apps on their phone while at work or while traveling with their teams. This is a violation of the NFL’s Gambling Policy.

“During the NFL’s investigations we have learned that these apps (like FanDuel) are highly sensitive and very sophisticated at tracking, among other things, user location to be sure that the people using the app are not ‘prohibited gamblers’ and/or that the person using the app is in a location where they are allowed to place bets on the app. We have confirmed that some states monitor/audit FanDuel and the other gambling apps to ensure that the companies are in compliance with state law. Further the apps monitor gambler activity. It was as part of that monitoring that the NFL learned of the players using the apps at work in violation of NFL rules. At no time should players open or use any mobile gambling app while at work.”

It’s unclear why the union sent the email to agents and not to the players. It’s not for the agents to warn the players not to gamble on their phones. It’s for the union to issue that warning.

Frankly, it almost seems as if the union is warning agents so that the union can blame the agents for not warning the players, if the violations continue.

The reality is that, for some players, no warning is going to work. They’re either not paying attention, or they don’t care.

The individual teams have every reason to warn players about the gambling policy, and they do. But it still happens.

And it likely will keep happening.

It shouldn’t. Players who read this stuff (and we know plenty of you do), make sure your teammates realize that they shouldn’t gamble on their phones. Never on pro football, and never on anything while “at work” (practice, facility, traveling with team, etc.).

They’ll find out, and they’ll take swift and serious action.

They’ll do it because it’s easy to prove. They’ll do it because it creates the impression they’re proactively enforcing the policy. Even if the truth is they’re sitting back and waiting for the sports books to snitch on the players.