If Paul Tagliabue was still the NFL commissioner, Las Vegas likely wouldn’t have the Raiders, and legalized sports betting would still be considered taboo by the league.
“I was always opposed to it, the gambling stuff, and I didn’t want to have a team in Las Vegas,” he told USA Today in an interview published Tueday.
Tagliabue was commissioner for 17 years before retiring in 2006. Roger Goodell replaced him and later oversaw the Raiders’ move from Oakland, California, and the NFL’s burgeoning association with legalized sports betting.
The Raiders moved to Las Vegas after the 2019 season, and the NFL has deals with gaming companies Caesars Entertainment, Draft Kings and Fan Duel.
“The whole thing about Vegas has been changed with the Supreme Court overturning the federal law with the gambling,” said Tagliabue, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. “The cultural aspects are totally different.”
Tagaliabue, 80, said he was told technology makes it easier to detect if there are betting irregularities, but would prefer the league maintained its previous stance.
“I still worry about some young guy … and someone says to him, ‘Take the money,’” Tagliabue said.