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NBA Commissioner Talks Up Legalized Sports Betting
- November 14, 2014 By Nemanja L. -
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has called for United States Congress to change the current federal law that bans betting on professional sports leagues in all but several states.
While the major sports leagues in the United States have been vocal in their opposition of New Jersey’s efforts to legalize sports betting, the NBA seems to be taking a difference stance, as witnessed by the latest developments.
Adam Silver believes that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) that is currently in place has been the main reason for the steady growth of illegal betting businesses and he wants this to change.
NBA Wants New Gambling Law
And rather than supporting the efforts of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the NBA chief believes that the Congress should adopt a new legislation that would allow states to authorize betting on professional sporting events.
Together with other major sports leagues, the NBA supported PASPA as it banned sports gambling in all but four US states back in 1992, but they do not seem to share the same view any more.
The NBA has just put pen to paper on an agreement with FanDuel, a fantasy gaming company, which seems to be another major step for the league towards legalizing sports betting.
Fantasy sports have so far been exempt from PASPA due to these being referred to as games of skill and not games of chance, but it is more than clear that the league’s partnership with said website serves as an important milestone.
New gambling legislation will probably not be considered by the Congress in the near future, but the recent efforts of New Jersey Governor and NBA could lead to more people welcoming the prospect of new gambling framework.
Illegal Betting Market Worth $400 Billion Per Year
It is believed that some $400 billion is being wagered on sports illegally every single year in the US, so it is hardly surprising that NBA seem to want a share of the revenue, and they probably hope other major leagues will follow suit.
Another reason for the league’s attempts to legalize gambling seem to lie in the fact that Las Vegas is seen as the next big city to welcome an NBA franchise, with the move unlikely to happen as long as PASPA is in effect.