New Venue for Kid’s Charity Not Good Enough for Goodell: ‘We’ll See You in Court’

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Strikes For Kids is a nonprofit group that partners with numerous pro athletes and organizes bowling events to raise money for various youth charities. Normally, these events take place across the country without a hitch. However, back in 2015, the NFL took issue with the organization’s choice of location in Las Vegas. It was the bowling alley at the Sunset Station. Consequently, the NFL blocked 25 of its players from participating unless the venue was changed. 

The league’s representatives felt that location choice would be a violation of the NFL’s “anti-gambling” policy. In turn, a slightly different venue was subsequently approved, i.e. “Brooklyn Bowl” in Las Vegas. However, that bowling alley is owned by Linq Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Albeit, Brooklyn Bowl isn’t inside of the casino; it’s a 4-minute walk away from the casino on the same property complex. And apparently, that was enough of a separation to satisfy to the NFL’s “anti-gambling” policy.

Strikes For Kids’ representatives were disappointed with the NFL’s alternative venue, which was “nearly identical.” The nonprofit group later filed a lawsuit against the NFL alleging that the league had committed fraud and caused their organization to lose revenue by conducting the event at a smaller venue. According to Sunset Station’s website, their company’s bowling alley is the largest in southern Nevada with 72 lanes. The Linq, on the other hand, has 16 lanes. 

Yesterday, USA Today reported that the attorneys on behalf of Strikes For Kids requested that Roger Goodell be forced to testify about the NFL’s stance on gambling. Understandably, a major corporation would be cautious about its representatives participating in a public event, even a charitable one, at a casino. However, there are numerous contradictions with the NFL’s “anti-gambling” policy. This is a topic that has been detailed at length on Gambling911

You don’t need to be a legal expert to recognize the hypocrisy. After all, the NFL provides full media access to news organizations that publicize NFL point spreads and injury reports. Likewise, a few current NFL team owners have casino holdings and numerous former team owners have also owned major casinos. In addition, the NFL profits from licensing agreements with fantasy sports leagues, sponsorship deals with state lotteries, and advertising revenue from casinos. Suffice it to say, the NFL has several connections with gambling. 

Bear in mind, the NFL is contesting the lawsuit by Strikes For Kids while conducting private meetings that suggest even further contradictions. Check out Gilbert Horowitz’s column from yesterday, “Major Sports Leagues Secretly Talk ‘Inevitable’ Likelihood of Legal Sports Betting,” for more details.

- Brian Saady, Special Contributor to Gambling911.com



Brian Saady is the author of Dealing From the Bottom of the Deck: Hypocritical Gambling Laws Enrich Crooked Politicians, a Select-Few Casinos, and the Mob. His three-book series, Rackets, is about the legalization of drugs & gambling, and the decriminalization of prostitution.


You can follow him on Twitter @briansaady

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