NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants New Jersey governor Chris Christie to work with the league on expanding sports betting, according to ABC News.
In October, Christie signed a law removing prohibitions against sports wagering in New Jersey, a move that was opposed by the four major U.S. sports leagues and the NCAA. A month later, U.S. district judge Michael Shipp issued an injunction against the effort, preventing the state from implementing the law.
Despite the NBA's historical stance on gambling, Silver argued in a recent New York Times op-ed that it should be legalized in the U.S. under strict regulations. In an interview on ESPN's "Outside the Lines," Silver addressed Christie and New Jersey's fight to legalize sports betting.
"Governor Christie, and I'm happy to join him, should turn his attention to Washington, D.C., to Congress, and say, 'Here are all the reasons it should be regulated, but let's come up with a framework that makes sense on a national basis presumably that would allow states to opt in,'" Silver said.
The commissioner told ESPN that his Times op-ed was meant to "break the ice" and start a real conversation on the subject.
Speaking on ESPN's "Capital Games," Delaware Gov. Jack Markell appreciated Silver's support, but said it's "sort of hard" to imagine major change happening right now.
"Having somebody like Adam Silver speak out is powerful, and I think it’s going to take folks like him … maybe that’s what it takes to move it," he said.
- Molly Geary