The United States Supreme Court is still chewing over the legality of Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the 1992 federal law that imposed a ban on sports gambling in the country. However, in anticipation that the ban will be lifted and that sports betting will finally be legalized, a number of states are already laying the groundwork for statutory frameworks in the form of various legislations. New York is among these states and it is where hearings hosted by the Senate’s Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee were held earlier this week, on Wednesday.
It was at this hearing when a top NBA official revealed the league’s thoughts on what they considered to be an ideal sports betting environment. The NBA wants in on the profits amassed from wagers on professional basketball games in the United States. According to NBA senior vice president, Dan Spillane, the league will be taking on “risk that sports betting imposes” and should, therefore, receive the 1 percent compensation of the total amount wagered on the league’s games.
“Without our games and fans, there could be no sports betting. And if sports betting becomes legal in New York and other states, sports leagues will need to invest more in compliance and enforcement, including bet monitoring, investigations, and education,” Spillane told the committee. “To compensate leagues for the risk and expense created by betting and the commercial value our product creates for betting operators, we believe it is reasonable for operators to pay each league 1% of the total amount bet on its games.”
Who Is Buying It?
Well, at least the league is being halfway honest about it. The NBA is very smart and while it may seem like it, the league is definitely not a victim of circumstance in this case. Case in point, it has been the only league that has been very open about embracing the possibility of a legalized-sports-betting future. Seemingly, the true intent was backed by their vision to use sports gambling as a quasi-revenue stream – which makes their logic pertaining to the whole issue quite assailable. Spillane further argued that a similar model was already in place in countries like Australia and France where there is legalized sports betting and the leagues in said countries are compensated.
The fee represents a colossal financial windfall for the NBA, as well as other leagues which are likely to make similar requests if NBA’s is approved. A renowned gaming research firm estimates that in case states where sports betting is legal or will be legalized agree to compensate the leagues, the total annual revenue will be about $2 billion. At the moment, NBA’s proposal is still nothing more than a statement to kick off a negotiation – on Wednesday, it was greeted with a lot of skepticism thus making its future rather uncertain.