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Falcons owner Arthur Blank weighs in on the possibility of the Las Vegas Raiders

He sounded unnervingly like Donald Trump while doing so, too.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders missed out on the opportunity to move to Los Angeles, but they still have their eye on a potential move to Las Vegas. Now, when you think of Las Vegas, a lot of things may come to mind -- cheap buffets, Celine Dion shows, legal prostitution, etc. -- but gambling is probably the very first thing you think of. Needless to say, the idea of moving an NFL team to the gambling capital of the United States carries some inherent risk.

According to ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Falcons owner Arthur Blank thinks there are a lot of challenges associated with moving the Raiders to Las Vegas.

First of all, Blank isn't certain the Vegas market has enough football interest to support a team. Las Vegas is a slightly different market, though, because of the tourism and convention aspects. People would likely travel to Vegas to see their teams play the Raiders. The question is whether or not the Raiders could develop their own fan base in that area. Part of the league's process in determining whether or not a market can sustain an NFL franchise is extensive research on the potential fan base, and Blank wants to see that data before he can share a fully-formed opinion on the matter.

But the bigger issue in Blank's mind is that placing an NFL team in a market where sports betting is totally legal creates a sticky situation.

"I think, obviously, we'd have to build a wall around the football operations and the franchise itself, which I think they can do effectively," Blank said. "That [gambling] opportunity exists in any market."

What Blank didn't specify was who would pay for said wall. The city of Las Vegas? The Las Vegas Raiders? Would it come out of Mark Davis' bowl cut budget? Could they pass those costs on to Mexico?

Blank isn't wrong about the fact that the gambling opportunity exists for every team in every market. All one has to do is go to Vegas or work through an offshore sportsbook (which, as far as I can tell, is totally illegal and you definitely shouldn't do it.) There's also the overwhelming popularity of daily fantasy sports and the associated controversy about whether or not it should be considered gambling.

Raiders owner Mark Davis seems set on moving the team to Las Vegas, and he'll need the approval of 24 of the league's 32 majority owners to make it official. It sounds like, depending on what the market research results are and the safeguards the team can put in place to guard against the gambling risks, the Raiders may be able to secure Mr. Blank's support.