NFL Week 17 Picks
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NEW JERSEY AND NEVADA TALKING ABOUT SHARED PLAYER POOLS
The governors of New Jersey and Nevada have discussed the prospects for shared online poker player pools, according to a report in the usually reliable Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Journal reports that New Jersey governor Chris Christie confirmed via a tweet Monday that hes had discussions with Nevada's Governor Brian Sandoval on the subject.
The two states already enjoy limited cooperation in gambling through shared land slot prize pools.
The discussions are the latest development in a series of moves that has seen the three US states that have so far passed laws legalising online gambling, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, collaborate.
Nevada has already reached an agreement to share player pools with Delaware, an arrangement that will likely be implemented late 2014 or early 2015.
However, New Jersey is by a substantial margin the most populous of the three states, and its involvement would represent the biggest impact.
Analysts have long opined that sharing players is the best way forward for the online poker vertical in the legally fragmented US environment.
Should an agreement between Nevada and New Jersey emerge, it would likely also embrace the small Delaware market already agreed with Nevada.
Online Poker Report's Chris Groves raised a very pertinent question this week on the subject - how will the three states ensure they have regulatory harmony?
The fly in the ointment there is likely to be Nevada's pre-UIGEA "bad actor" provisions, something with which Delaware and New Jersey have not encumbered themselves.
That could impact the acceptability of both operators and software providers from a Nevada perspective and create complications.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sees rules for player safety working
Goodell participated in a series NFL Odds of meetings on player health and safety at the leagues headquarters Wednesday. He said the feedback he has received from coaches, players, officials and administrators has been positive.
The overwhelming reaction is that players are adjusting to the new rules, the new techniques, Goodell said. I do believe that this is a very positive shift in the culture. Youre always going to have things that dont necessarily fit into that culture in a period of time, but people are recognizing when these hits dont fit into the context of the game.
Asked about appeals officer Matt Birk overturning the one-game suspension for Tampa Bay safety Dashon Goldson for a helmet-to-helmet hit on New Orleans running back Darren Sproles, Goodell said he had not read the decision. But he stressed that the $100,000 fine delivers a message to Goldson and others that such hits must be eliminated from football.
Its not that there wasnt a violation of the rule, and its not that there were not consequences for violating the rule, he said. So that, in and of itself, is a shift, and a positive shift that the culture is changing. But the culture doesnt change overnight, and we will probably always have violations of rules.
The Buccaneers could wind up being punished financially for excessive fines accumulated by their players this season. In fact, any team is subject to such penalties.
Fine amounts under the leagues club remittance policy for player safety count toward a team maximum of $105,000. If a teams players go over that, the club is fined $50,000. If the total of fines gets to $157,500, the club must hand over another $25,000 and match any subsequent fines or suspension amounts. The most an individuals fine can count toward the club total is $50,000, and Goldson already has two infractions worth $80,000 in fines.
Tampa Bay is at $87,825 in 2013 just two games into the season.
Goodell also said the league has compromised as much as it can with the players union on HGH testing. The NFL and NFLPA agreed in principle to conducting such tests in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, but the union has balked about procedural matters in the testing, and about the appeals process, for which the union wants neutral arbitration. Both sides have gotten much closer to finding a solution, but no testing is happening yet.
What does neutral arbitration add but more credibility? NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. The majority of the policy that they already agreed to allows the commissioner to impose discipline, but an appeal is subject to neutral arbitration if the player so chooses. The players dont want an exception to the rule.
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