Source: NFL to fine players involved in Vegas arm wrestling tournament

NFL monitoring gambling to protect league at all costs (2:11)

Stephen A. Smith and Ron Jaworski express their concern for the NFL players who were involved in a Las Vegas arm wrestling contest, saying the NFL will not allow players to set a bad precedent by establishing relationships with casinos and gambling. (2:11)

NFL players who participated in a made-for-TV arm wrestling tournament last week at a nightclub in a Las Vegas casino will be fined, pending further investigation, a league source told ESPN.

More than 30 current and former NFL players reportedly participated in the Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship, which took place Wednesday to Sunday at Hakkasan, a nightclub inside the MGM Grand Casino.

League personnel are prohibited from making promotional appearances at casinos or other gambling-related establishments. The policy is stated in the player manuals that are distributed to all players. The policy pertains to all NFL personnel.

The NFL has said it has not changed its gambling policy, even after the approved relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said the NFL hasn't reached out to him despite his participation.

"I was there," Bowman said. "But I haven't heard anything from the league, so let's hope nothing negative comes out of it. But if it does, I'll take care of it."

Bowman declined to weigh in on the possibility of repercussions.

"I have my thoughts on it, but I really don't want to get into it," he said. "I am an employee of the NFL, and it's my job to follow the rules, and hopefully they understand it was for a great cause. Hopefully they'll let this one go."

In 2015, a fantasy football event slated to be held at a convention center connected to The Venetian in Las Vegas and featuring then-Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was canceled, after the league informed the players involved of potential fines.

Much like Romo's event, the arm wrestling was not heavily promoted. The NFL said it did not become aware of it until the contest had already begun.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and retired running back Marshawn Lynch were billed as team coaches. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, Raiders punter Marquette King, Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards and New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung also participated, according to USA Today.

Chung later denied he was at the event:

The NFL Players Association did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The contest is scheduled to be broadcast on CBS on May 27-28, with the championship round shown on June 3.

A portion of the prize purses for both individual and team competition will be donated to charities chosen by the players, according to the event's website.

"The event organizers are aware and understanding of the league's position of needing to 'look into it further' as it relates to the event itself," a spokesperson for Encinal Entertainment Group, which organized the contest, told ESPN on Monday in an emailed statement. "They are respectful of the league's process and will have no further comment at this time."

Information from ESPN's Adam Caplan and Nick Wagoner was used in this report.