The lengthy odds of this yr’s Tremendous Bowl location

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For years, the NFL balked at even a whiff of playing—and stored Las Vegas at a distance in consequence. However because the league has turn out to be extra open to playing, it has additionally embraced the town synonymous with it.

First, listed here are 4 new tales from The Atlantic:

Within the Shadow of the Strip

Folks are betting on absolutely anything lately. However one thing few would have wager on even a decade in the past? That the Tremendous Bowl can be held in Las Vegas.

The NFL’s determination to carry the sport within the metropolis is an about-face for a league that, for many years, shunned even the faintest affiliation with playing. The league, and particularly its influential longtime commissioner Pete Rozelle, was fixated on the dangers of compromising the league’s integrity and popularity. “Nobody does, or might, dispute absolutely the necessity of retaining our sport free not solely from scandal however, much more so, from suspicion of scandal,” Rozelle advised authorities officers in 1975. Within the late Sixties, he threatened to droop the quarterback Joe Namath over his stake in a nightclub related to playing; earlier in the identical decade, the NFL suspended two Corridor of Famers for sports activities betting.

This harsh posture on playing, and on Vegas by extension, continued over the many years: In 2003, the NFL refused to air a business from the Las Vegas Conference and Guests Authority through the Tremendous Bowl, on the grounds that it had the fitting to refuse advertisements associated to playing—despite the fact that the advert itself didn’t have specific playing content material. In 2012, a lawyer for the league doubled down, saying that an affiliation with sports activities betting would “negatively influence the notion of our sport throughout the nation.” In 2015, the NFL prohibited gamers from attending a fantasy-sports conference headlined by Tony Romo, as a result of it was being held at an area hooked up to a Vegas on line casino.

That the league is having this yr’s Tremendous Bowl within the shadow of the Strip is “mind-boggling,” Andrew Brandt, a sports-industry commentator and the chief director of Villanova’s Moorad Heart for the Research of Sports activities Legislation, advised me. However a number of dynamics have helped the NFL come round on it. Over the previous decade, the league grew to become extra comfy with fantasy sports activities, which lengthy operated in a authorized grey space. “The sensation was that [fantasy football] was not playing, and I believe that actually paved the best way for acceptance into extra actual playing,” Brandt defined. Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones, two distinguished NFL crew homeowners, had been early buyers in DraftKings, the sportsbook firm whose authentic focus was fantasy sports activities.

One other issue was the attract of the wide-open marketplace for sports activities in Las Vegas, particularly as different sports activities leagues began to broaden into the town. In 2017, the NHL established a crew in Vegas; the WNBA introduced that it could transfer a crew there too. That very same yr, NFL possession voted to let the Raiders transfer from Oakland to Vegas. (Even then, nevertheless, Roger Goodell, the present NFL commissioner, expressed considerations about playing.) The dialog on playing had begun to shift by that time: In 2014, the NBA commissioner wrote a New York Occasions op-ed noting that, though his and different leagues had been traditionally gambling-cautious, he felt it was time to make sports activities betting authorized.

However the change that the majority accelerated the NFL’s shift in posture was the 2018 Supreme Courtroom determination that allowed states to authorize sports activities betting. That opened the floodgates of the multibillion-dollar {industry}; sports activities betting is now authorized in 38 states, in addition to in Washington, D.C. Some 68 million adults are reportedly projected to wager an estimated $23 billion on the Tremendous Bowl this yr, setting new data for playing in the USA. “Sports activities betting is embedded in our consciousness proper now,” Brandt mentioned, including that his personal podcast on the enterprise of sports activities is sponsored by DraftKings.

Betting is massively profitable for nearly each side of the soccer {industry}. Adverts from sports-betting apps equivalent to DraftKings have turn out to be a mainstay of Tremendous Bowl business breaks (the NFL introduced that three such advertisements are slated to seem through the nationwide broadcast this weekend). The NFL has entered partnerships with sportsbooks that may very well be value a reported $1 billion for the league over the subsequent few years; it has additionally donated to the Nationwide Council on Downside Playing. A spokesperson for the NFL emphasised in an electronic mail that “defending the integrity of the sport” is of the “utmost significance” to the league, and added that “utilizing our platform to advertise accountable playing can also be a key focus.”

“Betting, as soon as fully excluded from mainstream sports activities, is now inextricable from practically each degree of the enterprise,” my colleague Amanda Mull wrote final summer season. Playing has additionally, in the middle of only a few years, turn out to be a core a part of the expertise of sports activities for tens of millions of Individuals. Although some absolutely sought out methods to gamble earlier than it was authorized, many sports activities followers at the moment are doubtless playing for the primary time. As Amanda writes, “The sport is over. Betting received.”


At the moment’s Information

  1. Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan invoice that included foreign-aid and border-policy provisions. Democrats are shifting ahead with a foreign-aid-only invoice that drops the immigration measures.
  2. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’s proposal for a cease-fire and hostage launch in alternate for tons of of Palestinian prisoners; Netanyahu declared as an alternative that Israel will struggle till “absolute victory.”
  3. A U.S. strike in Baghdad killed a senior commander of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant group that the Pentagon linked to the latest assault in Jordan that killed three U.S. service members.


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Night Learn

A photo-illustration of a man holding up a giant diamond
Illustration by The Atlantic. Sources: H. Armstrong Roberts; Thomas Yeoh / Getty.

Lab Diamonds Are Too Good for Their Personal Good

By Amanda Mull

Final yr, a humorous factor occurred at Ring Concierge’s Manhattan showroom. A bride-to-be introduced her engagement ring again to the favored jewellery retailer after sporting it for a number of weeks and needed to commerce out her diamond for a worse one. The girl was fearful that the unique rock was too clear, too vibrant, too good for its giant measurement, Ring Concierge’s CEO, Nicole Wegman, advised me …

Brides typically usher in new rings for tweaks … That the central diamond is too good, nevertheless, is simply not a criticism that jewelers get, besides in instances of completely blown budgets. However this specific bride wasn’t fearful that she’d spent an excessive amount of cash, Wegman mentioned. In a way, the bride was fearful that she hadn’t spent sufficient.

Learn the total article.

Extra From The Atlantic

Tradition Break

A still from the new Percy Jackson and the Olympians, showing Percy, Annabeth, and Grover standing together

Watch. Percy Jackson and the Olympians (out now on Disney+) is a devoted adaptation, Elise Hannum writes. However what occurred to the enjoyable?

Learn.Happiness,” a poem by Mamie Morgan:

“On the Airbnb in Carqueiranne, our king mattress’s really two / mechanical singles scooched collectively. With remotes, we govern / how excessive to boost his toes, my arms, complete our bodies / butt-down birds inside plush porcelain cups.”

Play our every day crossword.


In case you missed it in November, I like to recommend testing my colleague Charlie Warzel’s dispatch from the Strip—extremely titled “Sphere and Loathing in Las Vegas”—in regards to the American West’s latest, largest display.

— Lora

Stephanie Bai contributed to this article.

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