The National Basketball Association have announced they are ready to support the regulation of sports betting in the United States.
This announcement is a clear sign of change within the Association, as despite previous sympathizing comments, they had never taken a clear stand on sports betting in the USA.
NBA vice-president and assistant general counsel Dan Spillane said: “Our view has been that if it’s illegal [at the federal level], that’s not the right way to start off legal sports betting in the United States — under a cloud, doing it in violation of federal law. At the same time, we agree with New Jersey on the ultimate policy outcome: that having legal, regulated sports betting in the United States is the best place to end up. The disagreement is just on how to get there.”
This announcement comes a month after NBA, NFL and NHL fled at the US Supreme Court about the supremacy of federal law over state law, indicating that PASPA’s (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) approach to sports betting, was deemed unconstitutional. Τhe Associations used New Jersey's example to support their case.
Dan Spillane explained: “We have advisors in DC, we have legislation that we’ve been pulling together, talking with other stakeholders in this area. It’s a slow process… When the leagues were all just unanimously opposed to it, it really wasn’t, I think, a practical discussion to have, and now it is… I think that there will be a little bit more clarity, and people will be more open, especially members of Congress, to talking about potential legislation once the [NJ] case is resolved one way or another.”
MLS Commissioner, Don Garber voiced his support to this direction: “I am a big proponent that if it’s going to happen, we might as well be in front of it. I think there are great values to our tax revenues to be able to do that, I don’t think we can stop it, so maybe we’d even lead the charge. Gambling on games, betting on games, is part of the DNA of football around the world.”
Geoff Freeman, American Gaming Association President and CEO also commented: “The AGA welcomes the NBA’s active engagement on this important issue, and shares their commitment to integrity and rigorous regulation. We look forward to working together.”
The Supreme Court of Justices will commence review hearings into the New Jersey appeal on the 4h of December. The decision is expected to be announced in early 2018.