For years, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said he was open to the idea of legalized sports betting. Rather, he he believes it will help improve fan engagement. Silver said it occurred to him that sports leagues will be “better off. This is with a regulated framework for sports betting. Also, trying to maintain the status quo of an illegal unregulated market.
What does this mean for Canadians?
Silver also pointed out that in places like the United Kingdom, “legalized sports betting is a way of life.”
“Take the Premier League [English soccer], for example. There were betting parlors in London, and there were betting windows at the stadiums in the middle of the games. Now almost all of that betting action is online. In the U.S., the estimates range from $100 billion to $400 billion in illegal sports betting annually.”
While Silver is in favor of legalized sports betting, he is also a big supporter of the betting integrity fee, which will require bookmakers to pay the league one percent of every bet placed on NBA games, allowing the league to generate some revenue from Canada sports betting.
NBA Canada Sports Betting
“I would only say from the NBA’s standpoint we will spend this year roughly $7.5 billion creating this content, creating these games. Those are total expenses for the season.” Silver said. “So this notion that as the intellectual property creators that we should receive a one percent fee seems very fair to me.”
NBA commissioner Silver’s vocal support of sports betting has drawn a lot of praise, but his stance on the integrity fee have been heavily criticized.
In response to Silver’s integrity fee proposal, the American Gaming Association said,
“We can all agree that the 25-year ban on sports wagering has been a failure in every regard. Now, let’s get real about eliminating the illegal market, protecting consumers and determining the role of government — a role that most certainly does not include transferring money from bettors to multi-billion dollar sports leagues.”