In September, Silver told an audience at a Bloomberg sports business conference that expanded legalized sports betting in the U.S. It could have continued to treat sports betting as the enemy that for as long as anyone could remember had threatened the very fabric of the game. And the NHL and MLB are both currently partnered with daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings.
The Donaghy revelation became the ugliest gambling scandal to hit an American professional sport since at least Pete Rose’s banishment from baseball in 1989 and perhaps since the Black Sox threw the 1919 World Series. … It studied and researched and planned behind closed doors before it made its move. “One of my concerns is that I will be portrayed as pro sports betting,” he says. I will say that certainly all of them … Or on Silver, who gained extensive knowledge of foreign revenue models during his time overseas. One week later, the NBA was due back in court as part of its ongoing fight to prevent New Jersey from making sports betting legal. “My greatest concern,” he says, “is that there will be, in essence, a hodgepodge of regulations controlling sports betting that will vary from state to state, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and will make it increasingly difficult to monitor betting on our very own sport.”. “And while I wouldn’t categorize that as sports betting, on the continuum of no betting at all and legalized betting, it’s certainly on the spectrum.”
THE NBA’S DARKEST hour can actually be marked by a single moment, concentrated down to the uttering of a sentence. “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.” That was the lament of then-commissioner David Stern during a July 24, 2007, news conference announcing that referee Tim Donaghy was under federal investigation for betting on games. 13, 2014, editorial in The New York Times, penned by new commissioner Adam Silver: I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated. Actually establishing a legal framework is another. In those meetings, sources with direct knowledge say, contingency plans were formed in preparation for the day sports betting is legal outside of Nevada.
When asked about the support he’s getting from other leagues, Silver says, “I have talked to the commissioners in the other leagues about it, and I leave it to them to make any public statements they want to make on it. And someone who’s a realist in the business. commissioner to publicly support legalized sports gambling. He spent time overseas growing the NBA’s brand, giving him a vantage point to see how legalized gambling worked in other countries. District Judge Michael Shipp ruled in favor of the leagues. In March, two NBA attorneys attended a mock sports-betting trial put on by gaming attorney Jeff Ifrah at iGaming North America at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. “I am very sensitive to people thinking that I’m not understanding of the downsides,” he says. Included in the forum, which wasn’t open to the public, were talks with law enforcement officials, gaming regulators, addiction specialists and even a former student-athlete caught up in sports gambling. “Then we began getting approached by sports-betting companies outside of the United States, where it’s legal, to do business with them. The other leagues have — at least publicly — not wavered from their anti-legalization stance after the op-ed. That’s the pragmatic approach.”
Through it all, Silver has remained steadfast that legal sports gambling should be addressed first on the federal, not state, level. “In light of these domestic and global trends,” he wrote, “the laws on sports betting should be changed. In September 2014, citing a loophole in the Department of Justice’s language about violations to PASPA, Christie issued a directive to legalize.
THEN CAME SILVER’S op-ed. In 2009, the then-commissioner told Sports Illustrated, when asked if legal sports betting would be in the NBA’s best interest, “It has been a matter of league policy to answer that question no. Billions of dollars are being illegally wagered on sports, almost all online. But that’s not to say he and the NBA are the only ones re-examining their approach. The “defendant,” “Ginger McKenna,” was accused of facilitating illegal sports bets. He’s relaxed, though not unguarded. “I felt the need to explain why I had made other statements acknowledging that I thought sports betting should be legalized,” Silver says. While the NBA is still fighting in the courts to keep New Jersey from setting up its own sports-betting operation, three other states (New York, Indiana and South Carolina) have introduced similar bills this year, and a Minnesota state representative, Phyllis Kahn, has told ESPN that she’ll be introducing a sports-betting proposal early in this legislative session.
But multiple sources with direct knowledge of meetings between the leagues believe the NHL is much more open to legalization than Bettman’s comments indicate. I’m glad Adam is putting the hypocrisy behind us and putting it all up front.”
In November 2011, New Jersey voters had overwhelmingly approved a referendum to legalize Las Vegas-style sports betting at racetracks and casinos across the state. But Adam Silver has proved otherwise. Does it become a vehicle for betting, which may in effect change the atmosphere in the arenas?”
And so after taking over for Stern last February, Silver wasted little time implementing his approach. In 2013, $1.05 billion was wagered legally on basketball, combining the professional and college levels. Just 88 days into his tenure as NBA commissioner, on April 29, 2014, Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling in a four-minute proclamation on national TV, his willingness to stand alone in full view.
PERHAPS THE BEST Silver can hope for from other commissioners is a new view of sports betting as a possible “frenemy.” It More Info