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"The Big Game" and Las Vegas's Real Relationship With The NFL

Super Bowl
Las Vegas has a touchy but important relationship with the National Football League

The Big Game weekend is upon us. In Las Vegas, the Super Bowl is referred to as “The Big Game,” especially in the casino industry, because the National Football League carefully controls the use of the “Super Bowl” name.

The tight controls on “The Big Game” is not a shock to anyone who has lived in Las Vegas for long. The NFL doesn’t like Las Vegas.

Or so they say.

While the NFL shuns Las Vegas, even banning ads for the city during the Super Bowl, anyone who watches ESPN or even reads the sports page knows the truth: the NFL and Las Vegas are woven together.

This Sunday will be the single biggest betting day of the year for sports book and that betting feeds the NFL’s immense popularity. Plus, injury reports are seen as a report for sports bettors.

Sports radio talk show host Mitch Moss told KNPR's State of Nevada the league has a misguided view of Las Vegas.

“They are short sighted about this. They are unwilling to have an open mind," Moss said.

He believes they are convinced that if sports betting was legal across the country it would lead to games being fixed.

“They don’t understand that in Las Vegas they police it. They are the police of gaming,” Moss said.

He also points out that players make so much money, even players who aren't big stars, that someone who wanted to fix the game couldn't spread around enough money. 

There is also a double standard when it comes to fantasy football leagues, Moss said. He said the NFL views these leagues as using skill while gambling is chance. 

Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit

Mitch Moss, co-host of Gridlock 

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.