Casino Watch Focus reported that a terrible Florida youth football gambling ring had been exposed by ESPN. Most people were absolutely shocked to learn how much illegal gambling was taking place on youth football games. Kids were being bribed or paid to play for certain teams, families were being taken advantage of and the game was being tainted by the lowest of criminals. Unfortunately, a lot of those involved in the game knew what was happening. After the Nationwide expose, it was all but impossible for the community to turn their heads anymore. The Orlando Sentinel explains “Operation End Zone:”
When South Florida Youth Football League games are held at three city parks, a new police enforcement policy called “Operation End Zone” will be in play. “We have a zero tolerance policy for gambling, drinking and violence,” Fort Lauderdale Detective Travis Mandell said. “We want children to be able to participate in youth football without criminal activity around them.”
In a letter on its website, the league calls illegal gambling its “toughest challenge” that “threatens the integrity of the league.” It promises to suspend players who accept money to play, and says that any coaches or teams found to be engaging in gambling could face expulsion. Anyone found violating state statutes, city ordinances or park rules may be arrested or permanently expelled from using that park, the police department promises.
Police are asking anyone who observes any criminal or suspicious activities at the youth football games to contact the Fort Lauderdale Police Department tip lines: 954-828-5661 for English speakers, 954-828-5662 for Spanish speakers, and 954-828-5663 for Creole speakers.