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The NFL: Anti-Gambling or Anti-Competition?
The NFL and other sports leagues claim that they oppose sports gambling to protect "the integrity of American athletics." Based on their actions, however, it looks more like that the NFL, NBA and other leagues are trying to protect the integrity of their gambling-based revenues gained through so-called "fantasy" sports.

As explained in The Washington Post, the NFL earns "substantial royalty fees" from fantasy leagues. Fantasy sports also helps boost television ratings since fantasy gamblers have a financial interest riding on player performance in virtually all of a leagueís games.

How far will the NFL go to protect their gambling-derived revenues from competition? Very far. First they had the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) slipped into a homeland security bill. The UIGEA contains an explicit exemption for fantasy sports.

Now a "former" NFL lobbyist is involved in a White House political scandal receiving Congressional and media attention. The Washington Post reports that William Wichterman, who until recently was an NFL lobbyist, has been "working on the gambling restrictions in the White House Office of Public Liaison." According to Poltico, a member of Congress has written the White House asking for them "to spell out...the Bush administrationís policy on aides working in issue areas they covered as paid lobbyists."

One question for the NFL, MLB and NBA officials who claim to be concerned about the "integrity" of the game. Do your referees participate in fantasy sports?

See Washington Post article

See Politico article

See Winstonís Column, "The Guardians of the Games' Fantasy Gamble"

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