Did You Know You Can’t Bet on the NFL Draft in Iowa?
Yesterday was the first day of the NFL Draft, and I was feeling a little lucky. A friend called me to let me know the odds on a certain player going in the top five had swung dramatically. He put some money on it and suggested I do the same.
I pulled up my DraftKings app to make the bet. To my surprise, however, I noticed that the NFL Draft wasn't one of the first options on my home-screen. I scrolled around, found the right tab, and was greeted with a strange message: "Draft wagering is not permitted."
This was a foreign message to me. I'm from Illinois and I bet on the NFL Draft last year. It was then I learned that betting on the NFL Draft is not permitted in the state of Iowa. Nor in several other states.
As of 2022, draft wagering is not allowed in the following states: Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. The reason is simple. It's not considered a sporting event under sports betting laws in those respective states.
I suppose that means making bets on the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards is out of the question too.
This anomaly of a clause caused quite the conversation on Twitter, namely because New Yorkers were shocked by the rule. Michael McCann, a sports lawyer, had something of an explanation:
Other states limit the timeframe in which you can make a wager on the draft. In Michigan and West Virginia, you need to place your bets by Wednesday night, almost 24 hours before the draft begins. In Nevada, where Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world, draft betting closes a full 24 hours before the draft starts.
These moves, particularly in Nevada, might be an effort to limit insider knowledge, such as team officials or staffers leaking information to friends and family on who they're set to pick. Being that the draft is taking place in Las Vegas this year, that's a major blow to anyone who traveled with the hopes of making a wager.
30 states have officially legalized sports betting so far. Being that it's such a newly legalized phenomenon, the parameters and underlying restrictions are still unknown to a large group of people, myself obviously included. The NFL is still trying to get a handle on it themselves. The season-long suspension of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley sent shockwaves around the league after it was discovered he wagered $1,500 on games last year.
Gambling as a whole could increase the NFL's total revenue by $2.3 billion as it grows more ubiquitous. There's going to come a time, in the very near future, I believe, where the technology will be so fast and the broadcasts so in-sync with real-time that you'll be able to wager on specific plays, right down to taking the over/under on how many yards a specific play will gain.
Maybe by then, Iowa and other states will allow us to bet on the NFL Draft.