If sports gambling is legalized, the National Basketball Association wants in on the profits

by Olga Hunt January 26, 2018, 2:09
If sports gambling is legalized, the National Basketball Association wants in on the profits

The NBA also wants to modernize sports gambling, according to Spillane, offering betting access to fans on their smartphones and at kiosks at different arenas instead of primarily casinos and racetracks.

Sports gambling has always been big business and its a matter of time before pro leagues look to get in on that action.

The NBA is proposing a plan supporting legalized sports betting - which also calls for a cut of every bet on its games.

The bill defines sports gambling as: a lottery, sweepstakes or other betting, gambling or wagering scheme based, directly or indirectly, on one or more competitive games in which amateur or professional athletes participate, or are meant to participate, or on one or more performances of such athletes in such games.

The NBA would seek 1 percent of every legal bet made on its games in order to formally embrace sports betting, according to an attorney representing the league.

NY is one of several states exploring the idea of legalizing gambling.

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Spillane addressed the committee in NY as part of an effort to ensure the state is prepared with regulatory laws should the Supreme Court overturn a federal ban on sports gambling outside Nevada.

"The NBA's first and paramount responsibility is to protect the integrity of professional basketball and preserve public confidence in the league and our sport", he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court surprised many when it decided previous year to hear New Jersey's arguments for why a 1992 federal law that effectively banned sports betting outside of Nevada should be deemed unconstitutional. The Supreme Court heard that case last month, and the justices sounded skeptical of the ban. "This approach draws from how sports betting is legally regulated in some other worldwide jurisdictions, like Australia and France".

The gaming industry also had an advocate in the hearing room in Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S. Asher told the committee that a 1% tax on handle is really a 20% tax on revenue, the low end of Freeman's estimate, and stressed that it would be much harder for legal books to offer fair odds and compete with offshore books and illegal bookmakers.

"In light of these domestic and global trends, the laws on sports betting should be changed", Silver said, citing sports betting's popularity both among fans in the United States and throughout the world.

The revenue could be significant: Spillane said many experts believe there is between $100 billion and $200 billion in illegal betting revenue each year, with some believing the number is actually higher. And while the National Hockey League has yet to take a public position on the subject, it allows bets to be placed on Vegas Golden Knights games in Nevada.


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