NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is saying promising things about legalizing and regulating sports betting again, this time while on a trip to India to promote the NBA there with Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.
“I will talk to Congress, and will push for a legislation that will allow our states to decide whether it is something they want to participate in. In the US, all the states have lotteries. I’m not trying to encourage sports betting, I’m just saying there is a lot of sports betting, and if it’s going to happen, it must be done in a regulated environment,” Silver said, according to a report in the Indian Express.
It’s just the latest vote of confidence from Silver in the fight to legalize sports betting and we’re now hearing him say he’ll be actively lobbying Congress on the issue. It was a tad surprising considering Silver and Ranadive are there to celebrate the Jr. NBA program in India, which has reached more than 750,000 youth in the country.
But we’ll take it wherever we can get it and it’s nice to hear Silver’s support sounding stronger than ever. We can also add another owner to the mix who is speaking out in support of legalization.
“A part of what gets fans involved in games is to let them bet on matches. So this is a logical evolution of the sport,” said Ranadive.
Mark Cuban has also spoken out in supporting the effort to legalize sports betting, saying "I think we're the world's biggest hypocrites” when the leagues benefit from sports betting while at the same time denigrating it.
The latest comments from Silver go even a step further and now suggest the NBA not only fully supports legalization, but it intends to lead the charge.
This is the kind of break sports bettors have been waiting decades for. With New Jersey’s efforts stalled at the court level, it’s looking more and more like changing the federal law will be the only avenue to regulating and legalizing sports betting in America. Now that a major pro sports league is stepping up, that actually seems possible.