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#pounditFriday, February 3, 2023

New details emerge in Calvin Ridley betting scandal

Calvin Ridley at a press conference

The NFL determined that Calvin Ridley did not have inside information when he placed several wagers involving NFL teams back in November, but the star receiver did include his own team in his bets. He did not have any success.

ESPN’s David Purdum shared some more information on Thursday about Ridley’s bets. Ridley risked $500 each on three separate parlays — a three-teamer, a five-teamer and an eight-teamer. All three included the Atlanta Falcons “to win,” though it is unclear if Ridley bet on the spread or the moneyline. The Falcons covered the spread in a 21-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 28, but Ridley lost all of his parlays.

Ridley bet on other sports with much larger stakes, but that is allowed under the NFL’s gambling rules. He bet upwards of $10,000 on NBA and other games. Ridley said in a tweet that he bet $1,500, which was obviously in reference to his NFL wagers. He also said he does not have a gambling problem.

What is perhaps more interesting is the way Ridley was caught. He did not use his own betting account, but sources told Purdum that he placed the bets illegally while outside of the state of Florida. Sports betting is legal in Florida, but gambling apps use geolocation services to track where users are when they place bets. Since the bets were placed outside of Florida, the Hard Rock sportsbook app notified Genius Sports, which is the NFL’s compliance and data partner. That triggered the investigation that ultimately led to Ridley being suspended for the entire 2022 season.

The Ridley situation should serve as a warning for all NFL players and coaches. Ridley indicated that he thought the league went overboard, but it proves how many tools there are to monitor illegal activity.

Photo: Mar 2, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Calvin Ridley speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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