NBA Team Owners Support Commissioner Silver’s Stance On Legalising Sports Betting
Last year NBA Commissioner Adam Silver voiced his support for legalizing sports betting in the U.S. This bold move was surprising in that the NBA along with most of the other major sporting bodies are traditionally opposed to the idea claiming that it would ruin the professional game.
While some are quick to praise silver for being the first outspoken sporting commissioner, many would day he has no choice in the matter as sports betting is already a reality in the form of daily fantasy sports betting companies like FanDuel and DraftKings who both already have official sponsorship deals with the NBA. Last month Silver used the Leagues annual Technology Summit to once again voice his pro legalization stance. The more interesting aspect of the Summit was the opinions of some of the largest NBA franchises.
According to reports in Newsday most of the owners are towing the line with Silver in that they are well aware that legalization will generate billions of dollars for their franchises and strengthen the League. The outspoken owner of the Mavericks, Mark Cuban was not hesitant to voice his opinion and said,” We’ve always been hypocritical saying we didn’t realize it was a big part of interest in the game. When you do any work on where people are actually gambling, it’s all overseas and places we can’t see, and the league has got to monitor all these third-party betting sites and that makes it a lot tougher. By bringing it where we can see it, you reduce a lot of the risk that something bad can happen.”
Other franchise owners like Jeanie Buss of the Lakers also made it clear she was behind Silver’s efforts to get sports betting regulated on a nationwide level. She said,” It already exists now, so as a league we’re behind our commissioner in the process of supporting legalization on a federal level. We want to see him accomplish that goal, because we feel that any engagement with the fans is a positive. If our fans are already doing it, then it should be something that’s brought out into the mainstream and it should be regulated.”
Other interested parties like television executives also want to get in on the billions expected to be generated by sports betting, ESPN president John Skipper openly said the “it can only help us.”