Caesars Entertainment sportsbook notified the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Nov. 10 that Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw had bet on NFL games at one of its Las Vegas locations, NGCB analyst Michael Lawton told the Review-Journal on Monday.
The NFL announced Friday that Shaw is suspended through at least the 2020 season for betting on NFL games on multiple occasions this season.
Caesars sportsbook directors declined comment.
“As a matter of policy, we do not confirm or deny that an individual is a customer of Caesars,” Richard Broome, Caesars Entertainment executive vice president of communications, said in an email to the Review-Journal.
According to a report by ESPN, Shaw bet against the Cardinals on a three-team parlay on the second halves of three Week 10 games. He lost the wager that included the Buccaneers as 1-point favorites over Arizona in the second half.
Tampa Bay led 17-13 at halftime but didn’t cover the second-half spread en route to a 30-27 win.
According to the NFL, a league investigation found no evidence that Shaw used inside information or compromised any games. Shaw hasn’t been in uniform since he suffered a shoulder injury in the preseason opener and was placed on injured reserve.
The league also said it found no evidence that teammates, coaches or other players were aware of Shaw betting on games.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement announcing the suspension Friday that “If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football.”
“The continued success of the NFL depends directly on each of us doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game and the reputations of all who participate in the league,” he said. “At the core of this responsibility is the longstanding principle that betting on NFL games, or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL, and is forbidden under all circumstances.”
According to the ESPN report, when Shaw filled out his application for a betting account at Caesars, he listed his occupation as “professional football player.”
A Nevada gaming regulation on prohibited wagers states that “No wagers may be accepted or paid by any book on any sporting event or other event which the licensee knows or reasonably should know is being placed by, or on behalf of, an official, owner, coach, or staff of a participant or team or participant in that event. Each licensee shall take reasonable steps to prevent the circumvention of this regulation.”
Suspensions of NFL players for betting are rare. The highest-profile case was in 1963 when Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions were banned for the entire season. Both were reinstated the following season and Hornung went on to make the Hall of Fame.
In the most recent high-profile case, Baltimore Colts quarterback Art Schlichter was suspended in 1983 for betting on NFL games and other sporting events. He, too, was reinstated the following year.
The 27-year-old Shaw was a fourth-round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals out of USC in 2015. He spent three seasons with the Bengals — starting 12 games in 2016 — and was cut at the start of last season. He played four games last year for Kansas City and four games for Tampa Bay.
Shaw was signed by the Cardinals in the offseason to a one-year deal.
In January, the NFL selected Caesars Entertainment as its first official casino sponsor. Caesars has Las Vegas books at Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, The Linq Hotel, Planet Hollywood Resort, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo, Rio, Bally’s and Harrah’s.
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