Multiple NBA owners have joined league commissioner Adam Silver in supporting a framework for regulated, legalized wagering on professional basketball, according to a Newsday report.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss spoke to the newspaper at a recent league summit and indicated the move would make not only economic sense for the league, but also lend more oversight to an industry that has been largely unregulated.
From the report:
"We've always been hypocritical saying we didn't realize it was a big part of interest in the game," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. "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."
Lakers president Jeanie Buss 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."
In November, Silver wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that advocated for Congress to establish a federal framework allowing individual states to authorize betting across professional sports.
Silver's op-ed was notable for appearing while the NBA was engaged in an ongoing lawsuit with the state of New Jersey over the Garden State's attempt to repeal a ban on sports wagering.
Silver's stance marked a departure from the traditional attitude toward gambling of the four major professional sports leagues, who have long advocated to limit betting outside of the state of Nevada.
In November, the NBA purchased an equity stake in fantasy sports platform FanDuel, allowing them to profit from the website's fantasy games, according to Forbes.
- Will Green