The NBA has come out in support of legalized sports betting, as long as they’re cut in on the profits. According to BleacherReport, the NBA is seeking “1 percent of every legal bet made on its games in order to formally embrace sports betting”.
During his testimony
at a recent New York State Senate committee hearing in Albany, NBA Assistant General Counsel Dan Spillane laid out the league’s position, saying:
“We have studied these issues at length. Our conclusion is that 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.”
He also added
that “without our games and fans, there could be no sports betting”, and reiterated
the need for a “rigorous licensing program” to protect consumers.
If an agreement like this was reached, the additional profits would most likely impact the league’s salary cap; but, the details have obviously not been hashed out yet. Some analysts see promise in the model employed
by Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL), where most leagues, teams and stadiums have commercial arrangements in place with bookmakers.
While it seems like a step in the right direction, not everyone thinks this is a good idea. Case Keefer of the Las Vegas Sun
called Spillane’s proposal “preposterous”, claiming:
“It would defeat the entire purpose of the NBA’s originally stated reason for seeking legalized sports betting… Instead of driving bettors away from an illegal sports betting market… it would push them towards it. That’s because stateside sports books would not be able to compete with the odds offshore shops offer if they’re beholden a percentage to the sports leagues.”