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NFL shuts door on Romo-organized fantasy football convention

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The NFL has shut the door on a fantasy football convention in Las Vegas — organized by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo — because of league concerns with the event’s connection to a casino property.

The inaugural National Fantasy Football Convention was canceled Friday after the league informed the NFL Players Association that the event scheduled for July 10-12 would be in violation of NFL rules by being held at a casino property.

The three-day event was scheduled to be hosted by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. All of the sessions were to be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which does not have on-site gambling.

“Players and NFL personnel may not participate in promotional activities or other appearances at or in connection with events that are held at or sponsored by casinos,” an NFL spokesman said in an email statement to FOX Sports.

Punishment for participation in the event would likely result in a fine but a suspension would be unlikely, a source told FOX Sports.

A spokesman for the NFLPA said it would withhold comment until it had more information.

More than 100 players were expected to participate in the event, which would have allowed fantasy football players to connect with NFL stars in question-and-answer sessions and other activities.

Romo organized the event and various active players were scheduled to appear, including New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray and Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.

Players were due more than a combined $1 million in marketing or appearance fees, according to ESPN.

Romo tweeted Friday night that he was disappointed by the decision:

“NFL has canceled our fantasy football convention this year in Vegas and that is disappointing. I’m sad for the fans and players.”

A statement on the National Fantasy Football Convention website said, “This is a direct result of sudden and unexpected opposition taken by the NFL concerning player participation and their perceived association with gambling for an event in Las Vegas. We could not be more shocked and disappointed by the events of the past few days, and we want to extend our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences, frustrations, and disappointment this will undoubtedly cause. We also want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your support and interest in the National Fantasy Football Convention.”

The event has now been set for Los Angeles in 2016.


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