Some sports journalists have expressed fears over the implications of the Raider’s players being exposed to legalized gambling if they move to Las Vegas. Commentators have warned that the Nevada city’s casinos offer a huge distraction for players who should be concentrating on their game and some have even suggested a link between excessive wagering and the potential for corruption.
Discussing the move on PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, Tom Curran of CSN New England questioned whether the NFL should be worried about some of its players residing amongst the temptations of Sin City when not practicing or taking part in games.
Concerns have been raised that living in Vegas might not just be damaging for Raiders players’ wallets; suggestions have been made that those who lose large amounts of cash on the slots and tables of some of the world’s biggest casinos could find themselves tempted to supply gamblers with confidential information, such as details of performances or injuries, in return for payment. The doomsday scenario is that this could quickly degenerate into match fixing or point shaving, but commentators have also noted that the distraction that casinos might provide could end up having a similarly damaging effect on a player’s form.
NFL players and staff across the country are currently allowed to take part in gambling at race tracks and in legitimate casinos during their spare time, in accordance with the league’s guidelines, but some in the industry are urging a change to be made if the current Oakland team is to become the Las Vegas Raiders.