December 15, 2023 3 min read


NFL Officials under Increased Scrutiny as the League Tightens Its Integrity Policies

Dean Blandino, former NFL VP of Officiating (2013-17), revealed that the rising impact of sports betting on the sport has resulted in much stricter checks

Blandino, a well-recognized figure in NFL officiating, recently offered intriguing revelations about the league’s stringent measures to protect the integrity of games. While sanctions against players guilty of gambling violations have helped reduce such cases, NFL officials face even stricter checks. Blandino revealed that some referees had received offers to influence games. However, he remained confident in the league’s integrity safeguards.

Referees Undergo Frequent and Comprehensive Checks

Speaking on the “Awful Announcing” podcast, Dean Blandino delved into how the rising prominence of legalized sports betting has necessitated enhanced vetting processes for current and prospective NFL referees. He was adamant that the league had delegated massive resources to prevent match-fixing, adding that evolving policies helped the NFL keep up with new developments.

Blandino shed light on the vigilance exercised during the season, emphasizing the strict monitoring of officials’ bank accounts for suspicious spikes in funds coinciding with game days. He stressed the significance of closely tracking betting lines to analyze the correlation between calls made by individual officials and their potential impact on those lines.

If a game official has $10 in their bank account on Friday, and then they work a game, and now there’s $100,000, that’s a red flag, right?

Dean Blandino

The former NFL VP of Officiating highlighted the meticulous protocols employed in examining referees’ business associations, potential conflicts of interest, and even their financial transactions. Blandino underscored how the NFL has faced instances where individuals approached referees with offers to influence games. The league has implemented stringent guidelines, including restrictions on officials wearing NFL-branded gear to avoid compromising situations.

Frequent Policy Updates Set an Example for Other Leagues

The NFL’s growing association with sportsbooks and official partnerships with leading betting platforms has prompted a steadfast commitment to stringent gambling regulations. In September, the league reinforced its gambling policy, imposing harsher penalties against players betting on their teams. This proactive approach is paying substantial dividends, significantly reducing the frequency of high-profile scandals.

Despite the league’s ongoing efforts and genuine commitment to integrity, some athletes still test existing safeguards by engaging in illegal wagering. June saw the NFL issue indefinite suspensions to three offending players, hoping the harsh penalties would deter new offenses. The strategy, combined with evolving policies and education efforts, appears successful, as fewer such cases have made the news.

Blandino’s insight was instrumental in highlighting the NFL’s incredible 2023 progress toward mitigating the downsides of its close relationship with sports betting. Nevada congresswoman Dina Titus recently praised the league for its consistent and efficient approach, noting it would provide fans with confidence in the fairness of the games they wager on.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *