Summary: The NBA wants sports betting to be legalized across the country.
The National Basketball Association is asking for the legalization of sports gambling. At a Wednesday hearing, the organization formally asked for new laws to be passed, according to the New York Times.
Dan Spillane, associate counsel for the NBA, stated that New York should consider a “comprehensive Sports Betting bill that would serve as a model for a 50-state solution.” Currently, sports betting is only legal in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. Spillane said that those states enacted legal sports betting because of the NBA’s support in 1992.
The NBA proposed a legalized gambling plan for New York, in which the NBA would get a 1% cut of every bet made. According to the New York Daily News, this could mean a massive new revenue stream for the sports league. It is estimated that gamblers make almost $200 billion in illegal sports bets each year.
The NBA’s testimony in front of the New York Senate on Wednesday was part of a Supreme Court case that is deciding on the legality of sports betting. The court’s decision can affect states in which legalized sports gambling has yet to occur.
“The time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager on sporting events while protecting the integrity of the underlying competitions,” Spillane said.
While most professional leagues have condemned sports betting, the NBA has shown its support. On Wednesday, they proposed that online betting be legalized and that leagues be restricted on betting on their own events.
The American Gaming Association were pleased by the NBA’s position, but according to the New York Daily News, they scoffed at the NBA receiving a cut of bets.
“We can all agree that the 25-year ban on sports wagering has been a failure in every regard,” AGA President Geoff Freeman said. “Now, let’s get real about eliminating the illegal market, protecting consumers and determining the role of government — a role that most certainly does not include transferring money from bettors to multi-billion dollar sports leagues.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said that the 1% fee was justified, according to Forbes.
“Sports leagues provide the foundation for sports betting while bearing the risks it imposes, even when regulated,” says Bass. “If sports betting is legalized federally or state by state, we will need to invest more in compliance and enforcement and believe it is reasonable for operators to pay each league 1% of the total amount bet on its games to help compensate for the risk and expense created and the commercial value our product provides them. This is a similar approach to legally-regulated sports betting in other international jurisdictions.”
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