Adam Silver, NBA commissioner, lobbied for sports betting outside of Las Vegas this week in a New York Times op-ed, writing that the practice
requires strict regulatory oversight, but should be taken out of the shadows.
"There is an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events," Silver wrote. "Mainstream media outlets regularly publish sports betting lines and point spreads.
"Voters in New Jersey overwhelmingly voiced their support for legal sports betting in a 2011 referendum. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey recently signed a bill authorizing sports betting at local casinos and horse racetracks, a law the NBA and other leagues have opposed — and a federal court has blocked— because it violates (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act)," he continued.
In the column, Silver called on Congress to establish what he called a "federal framework" of laws that would allow people to bet on sports. The plan would include things like mandatory monitoring and reporting of unusual betting-line movements, licensing protocol for operators, age verification, and an education component, among other requirements.
"Without a comprehensive federal solution, state measures such as New Jersey's recent initiative will be both unlawful and bad public policy," Silver wrote. "Let me be clear: Any new approach must ensure the integrity of the game. One of my most important responsibilities as commissioner of the NBA is to protect the integrity of professional basketball and preserve public confidence in the league and our sport."
CBS Sports' Matt Moore noted that Silver's column
comes a day after the NBA came clean on its partnership with the fantasy site FanDuel.
"It's good to hear from the commissioner to set the league's position straight, since there's an inherent contradiction to the league supporting the legalization of sports gambling outside of Nevada and then supporting a measure to block such a law," Moore wrote. "The questions now involve what role the NBA will take in the formation of the laws they do approve of."
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