According to Whelan’s office, the NBA responded and expressed interest in discussing the issue, but has not followed up.
In addition, two U.S. John McCain, speaking last week on ESPN podcast “Capital Games,” said he also believes it’s time for Congress to hold hearings to discuss legalizing sports betting.
Meanwhile, three states, New York, Indiana and South Carolina, have introduced bills to legalize sports betting this year. Jim Whelan and State Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo sent a letter to the NBA offering a .25 percent commission fee off bets. He was convicted and served 15 months in federal prison. But we’re also aware that that’s a minuscule percentage of the overall betting on our sport.”
“As long you have the other major leagues saying that ‘this is evil and bad’ and ‘we don’t want it,’ that will be an excuse for many to just stay away from it,” LoBiondo said.
The NBA has spoken with the English Premier League about how it handles the betting on its matches and studied financial models in jurisdictions where sports betting is legal, like China, New Zealand and the U.K.
Silver said the NBA is not currently taking an active legislative approach, but others are. Minnesota state representative Phyllis Kahn has told ESPN that she’ll be introducing a similar bill early in this legislative session. “But for the FBI knocking on our door and notifying us about Donaghy’s betting, none of the systems that we then had in place had captured any betting by Tim Donaghy.”. Silver said the Donaghy scandal helped shape his new thinking on the legalization of sports betting.
“The Donaghy controversy also made me aware how important it is that we have a way of monitoring irregular activity on our games,” Silver said. “We’re not ready to take a position on which model is the right one for the NBA,” Silver said. New Jersey has been fighting in court against the sports leagues, including the NBA, to bring Las Vegas-style sports betting to its ailing casinos and horse racing tracks for four years. LoBiondo and Pallone are hoping Silver’s stance sparks interest in their bills, but both are also wary of the other leagues’ resistance.
“It’s my personal view that there should be federal legislation on this issue, in part to avoid what is happening now,” Silver said. That case is headed to appeals court in the spring.
In September, New Jersey State Sen. And that is happening now in the state of Nevada; so we have relationships with the betting companies in Las Vegas, so that we are notified if there’s any irregular activity. “My greatest concern 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.”
Silver also addressed the gambling scandal involving former NBA referee Tim Donaghy in 2007. Donaghy admitted to betting on games he officiated and passing along inside information to gamblers. “We do know that the more information that is centrally aggregated, the better chance we’ll have of spotting irregular activity on our sport. Sen. Congressmen, Frank LoBiondo and Frank Pallone of New Jersey, have introduced federal bills to amend the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the 22-year-old federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting