In what could end up being a seminal moment for sports gambling in America, the NBA on Wednesday formally requested a set of laws that could be the basis for professional sports leagues pushing for national legalized wagering on games. Dan Spillane, an attorney for the NBA, testified in front of a New York State Senate committee and for the first time made it clear what the league's price would be to become a partner in legalizing the multibillion-dollar industry. The NBA wants 1 percent of every bet made on its games in addition to other regulations, a request that could create massive revenue for the NBA and other sports leagues in the future. Spillane also said the NBA wants more widespread access to gambling for its fans, pushing for bets to be made legal on smartphones and kiosks and not just inside casinos and racetracks. That would increase the amount of wagering and, in turn, create more revenue for the league under its desired plan. "We have studied these issues at length," Spillane said in his statement to lawmakers. "Our conclusion is that the time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager on sporting events while protecting the integrity of the underlying competitions." The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a New Jersey-based case that could clear the way for individual states to legalize sports betting at casinos and racetracks. Oral arguments took place last month, and a decision is expected in the spring. As that process plays out, a number of states are putting legislation in place to act if the Supreme Court's ruling overturns the federal ban on widespread sports betting outside Nevada. In 2016, Nevada had $4.5 billion in sports wagers. When the numbers come in for 2017, they could be over $5 billion for the first time. Though much of that betting is on sports like horse racing and boxing, it is not hard to see how a 1 percent cut of all bets would be highly lucrative for sports leagues in states like New York -- and could increase exponentially if betting is legalized across the country.
NBA Requests New Gambling Laws, Seeks 1 Percent Cut Of Bets
ESPN | Jan 24