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National Football League probes casino arm wrestling event

11 April 2017

Players and league personnel are prohibited from making promotional appearances at casinos or other gambling-related establishments, per ESPN. The degree to which the league penalized and fined players for celebrating touchdowns drew so much criticism in 2016 that steps have been taken to loosen the restrictions on what is considered an excessive celebration.

One other notable player under investigation is Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison, according to Steelers Wire, who has a storied (albeit dated) history of butting heads with the league.

The NFL's gambling policy has been in the spotlight lately because of the Raiders' approved move to Las Vegas. Besides, with the Raiders moving to Vegas and so numerous appropriate event spaces in town being part of casinos, it seems like a bit much. That would also be the Las Vegas which in 2020 will become the future home of the Oakland Raiders. According to league vice president of communcations Joe Lockhart, none of the players contacted the NFL prior to their involvement.

The real problem here with both the arm wrestling deal and the moribund fantasy football convention is that the NFL didn't have any skin in the game or a piece of the potential pie. The primary drivers of Las Vegas' economy are tourism and gaming.

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The reason for the forthcoming fines is that players are banned from participating in events at casinos. That is the sticking point for the arm wrestling event, which was held at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

Alan Brickman, the event's organiser, told USA Today that he tried to include the NFL as a partner, but the league declined.

One such suit was filed past year by the nonprofit Strikes for Kids after the charity said the National Football League pressured it into moving its 2015 event out of a Las Vegas casino bowling alley.

National Football League probes casino arm wrestling event