Said Silver on FiveThirtyEight’s Hot Takedown podcast: “My view is that daily fantasy should be a regulated industry in New York and elsewhere, and I think ultimately that should be a decision for the voters.”
Silver is the first head of a major sports league to comment on the ongoing DFS controversy, and the most outspoken advocate of legal sports gambling. He made his opinion first known in October, when he told ESPN that the NBA is not considering “withdrawing or backing off our relationship with the [DFS] industry”, and that “it’s something that we’re deeply engaged in on the broader subject of daily fantasy-slash-sports betting.” He also had written a New York Times piece about why sports betting should be legalized shortly after entering into an equity deal with FanDuel.
The most pressing question in American gambling laws right now is whether DFS is a game of skill, or of chance. Silver declined to discuss whether he believes that DFS constitutes as gambling or not, but did say that the legalization and regulation of both DFS and sports gambling would be in the best interest of major sports leagues.
Said the NBA commissioner: “One of the reasons I’ve been pushing to legalize sports betting is not because that I’m necessarily an advocate of sports betting, it’s because all the research shows that it’s a multi-hundred-billion dollar business just in the United States right now.”
“In terms of the integrity of the sports league, it’s only bad news for us when it continues to remain underground… [to] the extent there are fantasy sites or flat-out betting sites, where consumers identify themselves by putting credit cards in and then can be tracked the same way the stock market can track buying and selling, then that’s much healthier for the leagues.”
Legalized sports betting is a much heated discussion. Sports gambling might be as old as the gambling tradition itself. Leagues have worked to remove sports betting from professional and college sports. Now America is at a crossroads where people can finally discuss, with an open mind, the positive implications of legalized sports betting.
With further developments in interactive sports such as fantasy football, the internet has become a fertile ground for numerous online betting sites. With 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 the latest gambling news news with his remarks about his support for legalized betting in the NBA.
si.com: Adam Silver on sports betting: I view myself as ‘pro transparency’
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 restrictions remained intact.
Even though all the professional sports teams including the NBA spoke out publicly against Christie, he was asked by Silver to work on expanding sports betting with the NBA by 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.
espn.go.com: Stern backs Silver’s betting stance
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 that NBA fans were helping create large amounts of illegal revenue from offshore betting sites, the league decided to think about things. Their plan was to figure out a way to “get in on the action.” After much research and planning, the NBA presented to America its intent 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 point scores than winning a game.
espn.go.com: I’m not pro sports gambling. I’m just a realist
Silver has worked in five different positions under former NBA commissioner Stern. In 2006, he was deputy commissioner of the league’s international operations. Being overseas exposed Silver to trends he otherwise never would have seen in the U.S. As he helped grow the NBA brand name, he also saw, first hand, how legalized gambling operated in other countries.
“As we began to stage exhibition games in Europe and China and jurisdictions where sports betting was legal, it caused me to focus more on this than I had historically. Then we began getting approached by sports betting companies outside the United States, where it is legal, to do business with them. As we became more of a global company, I began to think what our policy should be here.”
Silver also began to realize if there is transparency in the system, incidents like the one involving Donaghy could have been avoided. “None of the systems we had in place had captured any betting by Donaghy.” Casinos, lotteries in every state and fantasy sports has made gambling a part of everyday American life. Even people who aren’t betting punters know the spreads on their favorite teams.
One month after Silver took over as NBA commissioner, he sent two attorneys to a mock sport betting trial sponsored by Jeff Ifrah, attorney at iGaming North America. The event, held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, was entitles “As close as you ever want to get to a federally prosecuted sports betting trial.” At the event Assistant U.S Attorney Harris Fischman examined major U.S gaming laws and staged a mock federal trial.
Despite still facing an upward challenge from the US government, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is confident that sports gambling is about to become a reality pretty soon. He is assured that the league won’t be downgraded as some sceptics have stressed, but rather it will benefit and more importantly profit from the new undertaking.
Boston.com: NBA Commissioner Envisions Legalized Sports Gambling
Latest gambling news reports that Silver is determined many states that are currently experiencing financial difficulties will want to follow the model set by Nevada. The gaming state allows sports betting and is showing a steady growth.
Silver commented how gambling in sports is simply inevitable and the negative economic climate will dictate a need for a new revenue source. Considering just how lucrative the business is, it is easy to see why the Commissioner believes it will benefit them and the league.
“It’s inevitable that, if all these states are broke, that there will be legalized sports betting in more states than Nevada and we will ultimately participate in that. If you have a gentlemen’s bet or a small wager on any kind of sports contest, it makes you that much more engaged in it. That’s where we’re going to see it pay dividends.”
Silver brings a fresh approach to the question of sports gambling to the NBA, as the league didn’t seem too fond of the plan before he came to his position. The previous Commissioner David Stern disapproved of the idea and many other objectives that were proposed by Silver before.
However, now it seems that Silver’s aims may come to fruition should everything work out according to plan. He indicated that NBA teams already have the right to enter marketing deals with casinos, so sports gambling should be the next step.
“If people are watching a game and clicking to bet on their smartphones, which people are doing in the United Kingdom right now, then it’s more likely you’re to stay tuned for a long time.”
Bloomberg: NBA’s Silver Says Legal Sports Gambling in U.S. is Inevitable
Adam Silver wants the National Basketball Association (NBA) to profit from the fresh idea of sports gambling. On previous occasions the NBA seemed reluctant to allow the business to form into reality as they blocked New Jersey from introducing sports betting as a business.
Despite the fact that the NBA did not support New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his intentions of introducing sports gambling, the league is looking to profit from the broadening of legal sports betting in US. “It’s inevitable that, if all these states are broke, that there will be legalized sports betting in more states than Nevada and we will ultimately participate in that.”
Silver has been part of the NBA for over two decades and managed to take over from the spot of former Commissioner David Stern in February of this year. He asserts that he doesn’t see anything morally wrong with sports betting, and highlighted that teams already make marketing and licensing deals with casinos, therefore the NBA would only profit from it.
ESPN: Adam Silver: Betting is Inevitable
Unlike previous indications made by the world’s best basketball league, sports betting is looking to become a reality according to new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. He is convinced that it is “inevitable” as it is only a matter of time before it happens.
Merely two years ago, the NBA joined the rest of the professional sports leagues in the US in efforts to prevent an Eastern state from offering any sports betting activities. The NBA, NCAA, MLB, NFL and NHL were all part of a group that blocked New Jersey from pursuing their sports gambling aspirations.
In a court room hearing former NBA Commissioner David Stern criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for lack of morality and only being interested in money. “The one thing I’m certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two. They don’t care that it’s at our potential loss.”
The NBA managed to have their way in court as the Department of Justice also weighed in on the matter which eventually led to the judge ruling in their favor and dismissing New Jersey’s hopes of sports betting. Nevertheless, the state is pursuing its ambitions to legalize the business, and considering the recent change in NBA leadership that may very well happen.
The Washington Post: The NBA went to court to stop expanded sports gambling. Now Commissioner Adam Silver says he’s fine with it
According to gambling news, New Jersey pushing hard to implement sport gambling in the state, however it got pulled on the side by a group professional sports leagues. Two federal courts took the side of the league and prevented New Jersey from fulfilling its aims. The state tried to have a hearing with the US Supreme Court, but they got declined in June.
At the time when the NBA was against the introduction of sport betting, David Stern was the Commissioner of the league. However, now things have changed quite a bit considering the new and completely opposite stance that the NBA is taking.
New Commissioner Adam Silver assumed his new position as the head of the league and has expressed support for sports gambling. He asserted that the NBA stands to benefit from the spreading of sports betting in the US, despite not backing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Christie is an avid supporter or sports gambling, however recently he stated that the state should follow federal law. He said the New Jersey needs to “determine if a different approach towards sports wagering would comply with federal law.”
He also added, “While I do not agree with the Circuit Court’s decision, I do believe that the rule of law is sacrosanct, binding on all Americans. That duty adheres with special solemnity to those elected officials privileged to swear and oath to uphold the laws in our nation.”