The NFL is expected to sit the "whole integrity fee thing out, for now," following the Supreme Court's ruling on sports betting, according to Albert Breer of THE MMQB. That comes after ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr. reported the league is "opposed" to an integrity fee. There have been "different estimates" surrounding an integrity fee, and such fees "could wind up costing Nevada sports books, and later those in other states," around 15-20% of their annual revenue. One Raiders source said that the team is "very sensitive to that two years ahead of their move" to Vegas. The change in law also "could lead to the NFL relaxing its policies on teams abilities to partner with casinos, and the sponsorship opportunities on that end could be massive." Breer: "So why immediately anger those people on something that most in the league view as a low-margin business opportunity if there’s bigger upside around the corner with them?" (SI.com, 5/17). CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora wrote the NFL will be "very careful with its public statements and outward stance on this new era in gambling." But La Canfora added, "I can guarantee you there are already plenty of forward-thinking, high-revenue owners with dollar signs in their eyes." The "bottom line" is that there is "no shortage of entities about to cash in." La Canfora: "Don't think for a minute that once these floodgates are truly open that the men who run this league won't be doing the same." With "so many" outside operations about to "profit from the NFL's product via legal gambling, this is certainly a time for the league to be obsessed with protecting the 'integrity' of its games." But it is also going to be "very much about ensuring they get their piece of an ever-growing pie" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/16).
PROS & CONS: In Denver, Mark Kiszla writes it "seems reasonable to expect a spike in everything from TV ratings to franchise valuations with the introduction of legal gambling to NFL games." A fan is "more likely to watch the Bills play the Browns in late December if there's money riding on the outcome." Kiszla: "What worries me about gambling being extensively woven into the fabric of the NFL aren't the big issues of enforcement and integrity, but how gambling could slowly begin to fray the community spirit that has made the Broncos about the only thing almost everyone in Colorado solidly supports" (DENVER POST, 5/17).