NBA commissioner Adam Silver published an op-ed in The New York Times Wednesday arguing that gambling on sports should be legalized in the United States.
By legalizing sports betting, Silver argues, the industry would be subject to regulation. Silver encourages the federal government to allow states to legalize betting on sports and institute strict regulations. He writes:
These requirements would include: mandatory monitoring and reporting of unusual betting-line movements; a licensing protocol to ensure betting operators are legitimate; minimum-age verification measures; geo-blocking technology to ensure betting is available only where it is legal; mechanisms to identify and exclude people with gambling problems; and education about responsible gaming.
Silver's stance expressed in the column is a departure from the NBA's historical stance on gambling. In 1992, the four major professional leagues and the NCAA lobbied Congress to pass anti-sports betting legislation. David Stern, then the commissioner of the NBA, argued at the time that the NBA "owns the rights to its games and the manner of their exploitation." Congress later passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
Last month, New Jersey approved a bill to allow sports betting. The major sports leagues opposed the bill and a federal court blocked it on the grounds that it violated PASPA.
- Dan Gartland