The NBA outlined five things a bill to legalize sports betting within New York should include.

By Daniel Rapaport
January 24, 2018

A representative from the NBA submitted testimony outlining the league's evolved position on legalizing sports gambling to the New York State Senate on Wednesday. 

"There are different ways to implement legal sports betting," the statement, which was issued by assistant general council Dan Spillane, reads. "One approach, which we would prefer, is for Congress to adopt a federal framework that would allow New York and other states to authorize betting on sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards. We believe a federal approach is the simplest way to create clear and uniform protections for the integrity of our games."

States are scrambling to devise a plan should the Supreme Court rule to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a law that established a federal ban on sports gambling. A decision is expected early this year, and some justices have indicated that they'd be in favor of removing the federal ban.

The testimony then outlines five components the league would like to see included in a bill for legalizing sports betting in the state of New York. Notably, one of the points suggests that the legislation should "recognize that sports leagues provide the foundation for sports betting while bearing the risks that sports betting imposes." The NBA suggests that licensed sports books pay 1% of the total bets placed to the league to offset the risk and costs of compliance, enforcement and investigations into betting behavior, among other additional costs. 

Of the major American sports leagues, the NBA has been most attuned to the possibility of sports betting being legalized in the near future, and their desire to receive a portion of the bets placed comes as no surprise. Sports betting is already valued by experts as a $100 billion-$200 billion business, when legal and illegal bets are included, which suggests a massive revenue opportunity for the NBA and other leagues. 

Commissioner Adam Silver said in July 2017 that he expects sports gambling to be legalized "in the next few years." 

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