In an opinion piece published in the New York Times, the NBA commissioner said he supports sports wagering and thinks it should be legal.
While Silver said this on several occasions, it is also well known that the NBA is a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit which aims to do exactly the opposite: stop a New Jersey initiative that would allow licensed operators to accept sports bets.
Under American gambling laws, this form of gambling is illegal in all but four states. But New Jersey has been trying to find ways around these regulations for several years and the state’s last attempt failed after the judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking local casinos and race tracks from taking bets.
Up to Congress
According to Silver, his league joined the NFL, MLB, the NHL and the NCAA in the lawsuit because the New Jersey bill violates federal law.
In his article, Silver wrote: “Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards.”
New Jersey is one of the three states that chose to legalize internet gambling in the US, and if sports betting were also allowed in the state, licensed operators could launch online sportsbooks too.