The National Basketball Association (NBA) was recently reported to have changed its position regarding the state of legalized nationwide sportsbetting. This shift comes with the revelation that the organization intends to rally behind Congress members seeking reforms in the existing sportsbetting laws. A report from Legal Sports Report stated that NBA would not actively advocate for the repeal of the Professional Amateur Sports and Protection Act (PASPA), despite standing behind the regulation of legalized gambling.
NBA is also purported to have joined forces with National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) in the US Supreme Court a month ago to defend the legislation that restricted sports betting or wagering to venues in Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and Nevada.
In last week’s Sports Betting USA conference in New York, NBA Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Dan Spillane had the following to say;
“Our view has been that if it’s illegal, that’s not the right way to start off legal sportsbetting 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 and regulated sportsbetting in the United States is the best place to end up. The disagreement is just on how to get there.”
This also comes on the onset of a lawsuit seeking to overrule a 25-year-old federal legislation that restricts sportsbetting to only four states in the US. Dan Spillane is further reported to have assured the public of ‘a little bit more clarity’ once the issue is settled which would then create room for more open discussions regarding legalizing sportsbetting in all the remaining states. NBA’s rowback has been welcomed by the American Gaming Association lobby group whose CEO, Geoff Freeman, recently proclaimed that the group was in the same boat with NBA as far as ‘commitment to integrity and rigorous regulation’ are concerned.
In similar news, the value of illegal sportsbetting has risen to nearly $200 billion in the US – which accounts for about 97 percent of all of the country’s sportsbetting. These findings seem to be partially responsible for propelling the demands and subsequent lawsuits seeking for the legalization of the multibillion-dollar sportsbetting market. With the case for the legalization of sportsbetting to be heard next month by the Supreme Court, the significance of illegal sportsbetting in the US market is speculated to cause major ripples. Policy experts have had their fair share of criticism (and support) for the legislative restrictions that have been raised against sportsbetting in all but the four states mentioned earlier, terming the laws as ‘madness’ – but it is hard to tell how this will affect the Supreme Court’s landmark hearing that is only a few weeks away.