Calvin Ridley Sports Betting leads to NFL indefinite suspension: How a football player’s wagers led to the biggest loss of all- his own $11m contract with the Atlanta Falcons.
During a brief spell in November 2021, state legislators agreed on a deal that would allow the Hard Rock mobile sportsbook to open its virtual doors across the Sunshine State, offering sports betting enthusiasts the chance to wager legally across Florida. Based on the online reviews curated by the experts at wetten.com, Hard Rock is considered one of the top online operators across the US and was welcomed with open arms by many FL bettors.
The Hard Rock FL mobile sportsbook had a short lifespan and was closed just over a month later. However, a five-day sports betting window during this period would later become the reason behind Calvin Ridley’s suspension from the 2022 NFL season.
Ridley backs his boys in rule-breaking eleven-fold parlay
Despite being inactive during the time in which wagers were placed across the Hard Rock mobile sportsbook, the gambling policy for all NFL personnel clearly states that all NFL personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet, whether directly or indirectly through a third-party, on any NFL game, practice or other events.
Over the course of five days, Ridley admitted to wagering $1500 on various three, five, and eight-game parlays. However, based on documents obtained from Sports Handle, it would appear that Ridley had in fact placed six bets during this period, five of which were parlays totaling nearly $4000, including an eleven-game parlay that featured the Atlanta Falcons to win.
Ridley placed a stake of $300 at odds of 481/1 across eleven games on November 28th. If successful, it could have seen the Falcons’ wide receiver walk away with $144,000. Like all of Ridley’s sports bets placed across this period, the eleven-game parlay was unsuccessful. However, should the speculative effort have proven favorable, the $144,000 in winnings would still have only accounted for roughly 1% of the yearly wage that Ridley looked set to earn during the 2021 season. Looking back, perhaps Ridley would have been better off searching for the most popular online casino games, instead!
Due to the above, Ridley now finds himself suspended indefinitely for the 2022 NFL season and losing out on $11m in total earnings for the year. The Atlanta Falcons’ star was offered a three-day window in which he could appeal the ban; however, it would seem that Ridley has accepted his punishment. He can appeal again and apply for reinstatement on February 15th, 2023.
NFL partners with sportsbooks but stands firm on player and personnel parlays
Thankfully, an investigation conducted by the NFL highlighted no evidence to suggest that any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way during this period. The league also found zero evidence of any coaches, staff members, teammates, or other players across the NFL providing any additional information to Ridley that could have aided his bets.
The stance on NFL player and personnel sports betting may still be stern; however, over recent years, the National Football League has actively embraced legal sports betting and understands the value that it can bring to the league and its teams.
Now, It is not too unfamiliar for us to see the NFL and individual teams with their own sports betting partners, providing fans with safe and secure retail sportsbooks located in stadiums where retail sports betting is deemed legal. The introduction of mobile sports wagering has also been welcomed, with many top operators now featuring in ads that are broadcast live across the US.