The aptly named Gary Bettman opposes sports betting on Hockey and all other sports for that matter. The National Hockey League Commissioner sat down with CNN’s Rachel Nichols to discuss the National Basketball Association Commissioner, Adam Silver’s, newly found desires to have sports betting legalized.
Bettman does raise some important issues as it relates to America’s youth and the future of sports in the US.
“I think there needs some attention to be paid to what sport is going to represent to young people, “ he said. “Should it be viewed in the competitive team oriented sense that it is now, or does it become a vehicle for betting, which may in effect change the atmosphere in the stadiums and the arenas.”
And when Nichols asked if betting on sports could change the nature of the game, Bettman worried that it might.
“I think it could, do you want people at football and basketball games rooting for the spread or rooting for their favorite team?”
On Friday, ESPN2 sports commentator suggested that the NBA’s new sponsorship deal with daily fantasy sports site FanDuel.com could play a role in Silver’s sudden about-face. It’s interesting to note that the NHL recently entered into a similar arrangement with the fantasy sports site DraftKings.com.
During the interview, Bettman also discussed the prospects of Las Vegas getting a professional Hockey team.
Bettman, it should be noted, is the half brother of Jeffrey Pollack, who previously served as Commissioner for the World Series of Poker.