Adam Silver’s Stance on Sports Betting (Part I)

Posted: May 11, 2015

Updated: May 11, 2015

A sports commissioner finally steps forward to support legal wagering.

Legalized sports betting is a subject that has always caused much discussion. Gambling on sports might be as long of a tradition as gambling itself. College and professional sports have worked arduously to remove sports betting from the “image” of sport. Now America is at a crossroads where people can finally discuss with a degree of openness about the positive implications of legalized sports betting.

• Internet gambling is currently legal in three U.S states with plans to be in more.
• Chris Christie legally removed prohibitions against sports betting in New Jersey.
• Adam Silver is supportive of legal sports betting with careful regulation.

With further developments in interactive sports such as fantasy football, the internet has become a fertile ground for online sportsbooks in the US. Although internet gambling is currently legal in three U.S states, there is much deliberation in court for it to spread. Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association made remarks about his support for legalized betting in the NBA.

Silver becomes first Pro Sports Commissioner to Back Legalized Sports Betting

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is the only sports commissioner in American professional sports to openly support legalized sports betting. “I view myself more as pro transparency and someone who’s a realist in the business. The best way for the league to monitor our integrity is for that betting action to move toward legal betting organizations, where it can be tracked. That’s the pragmatic approach.”

Through Silver’s stance on sports betting, legalization done under regulation could actually improve the quality of betting and monitor the flow of revenue. Silver expressed more about his views to the New York Times that under strict regulations a more national approach should occur. A few months before, Silver told audience members at a sports business college that legalized sports betting is “inevitable.”

Silver also mentioned that states that need the money will push for reform. Last October Chris Christie, governor of cash strapped New Jersey, signed a law removing prohibitions against sports betting in New Jersey. Christie received opposition by all four U.S professional sports leagues and the National College Athletic Association. The plan was thwarted by U.S District Judge Michael Shipp and US gambling laws remained intact.

Christie was asked by Silver to work on expanding sports betting with the NBA by first focusing on gaining U.S congressional support and developing a “framework” that would give the opportunity for states to legalize sports gambling according to their own discretion. The move could easily extend the limitations of online casino gambling as well.

Silver’s opinions are clearly shared by others.

Corrupt referee

Former commissioner David Stern once said “I can tell you that this is the most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or a commissioner of the NBA.” This comment was made in light of the Federal investigation into referee Tim Donaghy and his betting on games.

As representatives from all major sports gave their views on this travesty, the NBA was watching the numbers. The league studied the market in Las Vegas, possibly the World’s Mecca for sports gambling, and watched the market grow. Also, the exponential growth fantasy sports sites on the internet couldn’t escape the league’s notice. Sports enthusiasm combined with the public’s viral attachment to social media sites was obvious.

After noticing the large amounts of money made illegally from offshore betting sites that were driven by a NBA fan base, common sense finally “kicked in” with the league deciding to think about things. They had to figure out a way to get in on the action. After much research and planning, the NBA was ready to make U.S gambling news with its intent which was trumpeted through the spoken opinion of Adam Silver.

Now that the gauntlet has been dropped, Stern, who guarded any support he had, is also backing Silver on his opinions. “The course was set. But it was left for Adam to make a direct statement of where it was going, and I think he did the right thing and I’m very supportive of that.” Stern also expressed that his earlier opinions were more based on fans caring more about teams covering the points spread than winning a game.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments