Tuesday December 6,2011 : Apparently gambling is not altogether abhorrent….
The Associated Press news agency reports that a National Football League team owner may be about to make the gambling-averse League's position somewhat more untenable.
In an article in the Denver Post, AP reveals that Vegas gambling mogul Steve Wynn and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft were spotted together at a game this weekend, discussing "…what could be a very profitable business venture" with a few selected area residents.
The article goes on to assert that Kraft and Wynn want to team together to build a $1 billion gambling resort just beyond the end zone at Gillette Stadium.
There is speculation that such a venture would face opposition from the NFL, an organisation that is so virulently anti-gambling that it won't even allow Super Bowl commercials that suggest such decadent activity, and has a long history of opposition to online gambling on grounds that it will corrupt sports.
To give a taste of the NFL's antipathy to gambling: Las Vegas marketers tried to punt their "What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" campaign by advertising during the 2003 Super Bowl, only to be rejected by the NFL. The league also banned NBC from promoting its hit show "Las Vegas" on primetime broadcasts after it landed "Sunday Night Football".
Only recently did the NFL allow Las Vegas to be mentioned in ads during games. But the league still banned publication of the identity of specific casinos, and did not allow any references to gambling of any kind.
Kraft apparently wants to capitalise on the new state law authorising three resort casinos in Massachusetts by helping build one in the shadow of the stadium where his Patriots play.
He's not alone, AP suggests. The Miami Dolphins reportedly also are considering a casino on property adjacent to the team's stadium if Florida decides to expand its land gambling options.
"The fact that league rules technically prohibit casino ownership won't likely matter in this rush for riches," AP opines. "There's too much money at stake, and too many billionaires chasing it for some antiquated policies to stand in their way."
The AP article asks whether the NFL attitude to gambling is softening, pointing to its approval two years ago of football teams cashing in on state lotteries.
"Getting a piece of the casino gambling pie isn't much of a leap from there, and Kraft surely wouldn't have been hosting Wynn at Sunday's game if he didn't think a casino next to his stadium was doable," the piece observes.