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NBA Pushes Forward With US Sports Betting Legalization

Date Posted: November 23, 2017

National Basketball Association (NBA) recently announced its plan to lobby the legalization of sports betting in the US Congress. This move can help with the state of New Jersey’s case in overturning an act that makes it illegal to authorize sports gambling.

Regulation of sports betting in the US can open the doors to many international operators. It also benefits US-friendly Bitcoin sportsbook sites such as BetOnline.ag and Bovada.

NBA to lobby US Congress for sports betting legalization

Support for legalized gambling

The move to legalize sports betting has been in the works for a long time. NBA stated last year that it would support the federal regulation of sportsbook. However, they will not directly advocate it.

There is an untapped sports betting market in the US. But most of it is going through illegal channels or in Nevada where sportsbook is legal.

Dan Spillane, vice president and assistant general counsel of NBA, said:

“Our view has been that if it’s illegal [at the federal level], that’s not the right way to start off legal sports betting in the United States — under a cloud, doing it in violation of federal law.”

He showed the outline of the NBA’s plans at the Sports Betting USA conference recently. Their plan is to lobby for a federal framework in the US Congress.

Spillane said that the league has advisors in Washington and in legislation that came up with this idea along with the help of Commissioner Adam Silver. Silver was said to be the first one to call for federal sports betting regulation.

New Jersey case

The state of New Jersey is currently in the middle of a case in overturning the Federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The act states that it is illegal for governmental entities to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license or authorize an act of sports betting. This covers any sports played by both amateur and professional athletes.

New Jersey says that it opposes the US Constitution in how the federal government legalizes sports betting in Nevada and not in another state. The state will soon bring its case to the US Supreme Court. The NBA is one of the several plaintiffs in the case.

Spillane said:

“At the same time, we agree with New Jersey on the ultimate policy outcome: that having legal, regulated sports betting in the United States is the best place to end up. The disagreement is just on how to get there.”

Opposition against New Jersey

It is important to note that the NBA, along with other US sports league, supports the legalization of sports betting. However, every league opposes the New Jersey case from passing its own law on legalizing sportsbook.

Every league is looking at a legalization of sports betting on a federal level. NBA is aiming for consistent rules on sports betting across every state. It hopes to avoid having each state have different rules on sportsbook which can make it hard for each league to monitor and regulate.