Adam Silver Says That League Will Benefit From Legalized Betting

Published on September 9th, 2014 12:47 am EST

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NBA Logo next to a Dollar sign - Illustration - ConceptNBA Commissioner recently raised eyebrows when he stated that expanded legalized sports betting is "inevitable" and that he expects the NBA to benefit from it.

According to Silver, cash-strapped states will not be able to resist the lure of the millions of dollars in revenues that online betting generates and will eventually offer legal online betting. According to Silver, the league will "participate" in this development. While Silver wasn't specific as to how the league will "participate", you can safely assume that it means sponsorships from online gaming rooms at the minimum, similar to how many European soccer clubs have deals with betting rooms.

Silver's comments were a marked move away from his predecessor's feelings on legalized sports betting. Former commissioner David Stern was vehemently opposed to expanded online gambling and was instrumental in leading a lawsuit against New Jersey's efforts to bring legalized sports betting to casinos and race tracks.

Adam Silver, on the other hand, seems to acknowledge that expanded online sports betting is coming and that the league should be a beneficiary.

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According to Silver, expanded sports betting will likely result in fans being much more engaged in games. Silver specifically pointed to the United Kingdom where fans can place bets on their smart phones before and during a game.

In this regard, Silver is absolutely right - fans are naturally much more engaged in games if there is money on the line. Even if a game has already been decided, fans may hold on until the last minute to see if their wager will pay off (if there is a spread, etc). This increased focus on a game will translate into higher TV ratings which translates into more money flowing into the league's coffers.

In this respect, the NBA condoning or even supporting expanded legalized sports betting makes a great deal of sense.

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Silver: Betting is 'inevitable'

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