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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Golden Knights Have Helped Keep The Integrity Of The Game

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Before the announcement of the Golden Knights in 2016, professional sports seemed like a long shot in Las Vegas. Baseless theories of legal, local gambling influencing the outcome of games were used as excuses. When in reality, the thought of millionaire athletes risking their careers and future contracts to fix one game is, and was always, far-fetched.

Rewind five years, surprising to some the NHL took the risk and became the first league to crack the Las Vegas market. However, as revealed by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman the NHL is still concerned with gambling and the integrity of the game but has nothing to do with Nevada. The league proved that last week when they harshly punished veteran official Tim Peel. The last thing the NHL could afford was a corrupt official like infamous NBA referee Tim Donaghy.

There were deep conversations about how damaging it is to your league during a crisis of consumer confidence. The CBA between the NHL and its officials now contains specific code-of-conduct references: ‘Each official agrees to abstain from habits of intemperance, gambling, immorality or other conduct likely to bring himself and/or the NHL and/or the game of Hockey into disrepute or which results in the impairment of public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of NHL games or the integrity and good character of its officials.’ -Elliotte Friedman, 31 Thoughts on Sportsnet

Last week the NHL quickly nipped a potential controversy in the bud when the official’s hot mic became a major story.

Initially, the story had absolutely nothing to do with gambling, but because of past issues in other sports, the NHL made a tough stand to ensure fans their product is genuine. Without transparency, gambling on hockey could be eliminated, and sadly to say, the interest in the sport would decrease significantly, not to mention millions in lost endorsement money for the league.

If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Michael Leboff, a longtime Islanders fan who is senior editor at The Action Network…

“When it happened, my boss told me, ‘Hey, we’re going to need to do a newser on this — it’s definitely a thing,” Leboff said. “They wanted to know what Tim Peel’s history was. No matter how you shake it, this is a gambling story.” –Friedman, 31 Thoughts on Sportsnet

It was proven that there was nothing sinister with Peel’s history and it was just a major lapse in judgment. Although, it was an immediate concern surrounding the sports gambling industry and the NHL. To their credit, the NHL is no longer concerned with players fixing games, nor should they be about officiating compromising the outcome. One thing is for certain, the league is still not fully comfortable with legal gambling.

It’s no longer about Las Vegas, the Golden Knights or even the Raiders.

As puritan North America finally clues into the fact everyone else in the world embraces gambling, it will be critical to rebuilding the NHL’s economic structure in the post-pandemic world. You can’t have people like (Chad) Millman and (Darren) Rovell questioning your integrity in that space. You just can’t. So when you ask me why I think the NHL acted so swiftly, this is it. –Friedman, 31 Thoughts on Sportsnet

Good on the NHL for their quick reaction and protecting their product. It goes to show the progression in how the league views legal gambling. Not only has the 31st franchise broken down barriers but they’ve been very, very fruitful to the league. Without the Vegas franchise, the NHL’s valuation undoubtedly drops.

Lastly, the Golden Knights have proven the stone-aged doubters wrong, and given confidence to other leagues that teams can succeed in Las Vegas without impacting the integrity of the game.

It ended up being a two-team parlay winner for professional sports.

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10 Comments

  1. sb

    Absolutely. The Knights certainly put an end to that nonsensical talk about ‘hockey can’t survive in Vegas’. Mr Foley has built a hockey mega business in Las Vegas in the short order of four years. Man, this guy deserves credit (we could be in Buffalo) for what he and his MGT team have accomplished. Why even question gambling in Las Vegas and having pro teams here? Gambling and major league sports teams are in every major city in the US – have been for two decades. Ex. Gambling in NY and LA and a half dozen major league teams in both cities. Nobody makes a big deal about that. Casting doubts on Las Vegas as a home for major league sports teams is stupid and ignorant. Come NBA. Come MLB.

  2. A Fan

    Kind of ironic reading this story and then learning they are naming the Henderson Events Center the Dollar Loan Center. As wise as they seem to be with hockey, some of their other decisions sure can cause one to shake their head. The Mexican tout service partnership, (which wisely lasted only a few days) and now naming this with a company that can have up to a 199 percent interest rate according to a tv commercial I saw. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised really as the YES a/c company that is a sponsor, way overcharged a senior couple I know and also tried to get them to do some unnecessary work. No one else wanted the naming rights to the Events center, or I suppose it just went to the highest bidder. Money talks as they say.

  3. Vic

    Thankfully the organization made many excellent decisions from day one as the VGK are the envy of the sports world. However, did they properly research the DLC before naming the arena? I guess we may see leg breakers outside the arena looking for people who haven’t paid the interest rates also know as borderline usury. We will soon hear all sorts of praise about the company, and how they give to charity. You name the arena for loan sharks, and now you face the music. The motto of the company is ‘Don’t Be Broke’ which is ironic as without the broke folks, there wouldn’t be much of a company.

  4. Dollar Loan Center – a very bad name for the franchise to be associated with. The connotation is just plain bad. Little surprised at Mr. Foley approving that as he is way smarter than that. I would be trying to figure out away out of that association sooner than later the quicker the better

  5. Why in the h—l couldn’t it stay, The Henderson Events Center”?

  6. Oh wait, that’s too logical…… like the same reason our airport can’t be called, Las Vegas International Airport. Has to named after a guy people don’t respect!

    • THE hockey GOD

      vast vast vast majority of sensible people don’t give a squat about changing airport name, and why pay millions of dollars to change name to appease a bunch of whiny cancel culture snowflakes who can’t even wipe their own hineys half the time nor get their facts straight other half of the time.?

  7. Jake

    I wonder what some of the downsides might be to a proliferation in “legal” gambling?

    It isn’t usually the owners of the teams or the players who deal with the ramifications.

  8. THE hockey GOD

    “I just wanted to see him get a little more confidence 5-on-5,” McCrimmon said. “So we’d like him to go down there and play games, contribute and be an offensive player, come back and give us some use when he returns.”

    wow “some use”
    wow wow wow and wow

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