Adalius Thomas, Terrell Owens and other NFL players could be punished for their involvement in an Alabama gaming operation, according to Yahoo Sports.
The NFL bans players from participating in gaming operations, but those rules currently do not apply because of the lockout.
The players have roughly $20 million in the operation, sources close to the players involved said. The project, Center Stage, was shut down in February of last year and the players are trying to re-open it.
"If it were to be determined that an NFL employee had made an investment in violation of league policy on gambling-related activities, that individual would be directed to withdraw the investment and it would be reviewed for potential discipline," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Yahoo Sports.
A source close to the athletes said players were investing around $7 million in the project, so if the league shut it down, the players could face financial problems.
Attorney Keith Givens, who is representing Joe Rubins, the financial adviser behind the player investments, said the Bingo operation is charitable and therefore not considered gambling under Alabama law.
But Luther Strange, Alabama's attorney general, stressed that Bingo operations needed to be "traditional." A press release stated that any form of machines, such as slot machines, would be considered gambling, which is illegal in Alabama and why the previous operation was shut down.
According to Yahoo Sports, even if the players are allowed to run the operation, the players may not receive enough money from the project and end up in serious financial trouble.