NBA Commissioner Believes That Sports Betting Ban Will End In A Few Years
The debate as to whether to legalize sports betting in the U.S. or not is considered but by many as irrelevant as facts on the ground will ultimately dictate what legislators decide to adopt. Everyone knows that billions of dollars are being wagered on illegal sports betting and this money could easily generate millions in tax revenues if it were to be legalized.
The hypocrisy of the major sporting bodies like the NBA, and NFL have been documented by our team over the years. While on one hand they voice fears of how real money gambling will affect the integrity of the game but on the other hand they are quick to sign multi- million deals with the largest daily fantasy sports companies in the market which generate hundreds of millions in competitions.
One of the strangest flip flops is that of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver who in recent years has advocated a policy of pragmatism in light of the reality on the ground. Once again in a speech at the Paley Center in Manhattan yesterday, Silver stated that the NBA would embrace gambling if legalized. His colleague Rob Manfred of the MLB and Gary Bettman of the NHL were not supportive of the legalization, at least in a public way. They believe more in the “go slow” approach as they are worried about the impact legalized gambling would have on the actual game experience. Bettman believes that the atmosphere in a stadium will be vastly different if people are betting on an outcome of the game and not on the sporting aspect of the game.
Silver with his pragmatic approach believes that hundreds of millions of dollars are being lost anyways and it is better to be realistic and tackle the issue by regulation sports betting. He went on to say,” My sense is that the law will change in the next few years in the United States. It’s more a function of being realists. It’s a multi-hundred billion-dollar illegal industry in the United States. Ultimately, as the owners of the intellectual property, we’re going to embrace it.”
He added that he is not worried about the concerns voiced over the integrity of the games as,” Research generally shows that fans are fairly sophisticated. They can both root for their team and virtually all the action. … They want to bet throughout the game. They’re betting on quarter scores, on particular players, and free throws. It results in enormous additional engagement.”