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NBA sets out proposals for US sports betting laws

| By iGB Editorial Team
North America’s NBA basketball league this week unveiled its vision for sports betting in the US, should the country opt to introduce wider regulations

North America’s NBA basketball league this week unveiled its vision for sports betting in the US, should the country opt to introduce wider regulations.

According to ESPN, NBA attorney Dan Spillane set out the NBA’s proposals to a New York State Senate committee, formally confirming the league’s support for plans to legalise sports betting across the country.

Nevada is currently the only US state in which sports betting is legal, but New Jersey is leading the charge for nationwide regulation of such activities.

New Jersey wants to overturn the federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which makes it unlawful for governmental entities to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, licence or authorise betting, gambling or wagering schemes that are based on games played by amateur or professional athletes.

The US Supreme Court recently hosted an opening hearing for the case, although a final decision is not expected until June.

Should New Jersey prove successful in its venture and sports betting is regulated on a country-wide basis, Spillane said that the NBA would want 1% of every bet made on its games.

Other requests from the NBA include more widespread access to gambling for its fans, with proposals to make betting on mobile and via kiosks legal, rather than just inside casinos and racetracks.

Speaking at this week’s session, Spillane said: “We have studied these issues at length; our conclusion is that the time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager on sporting events while protecting the integrity of the underlying competitions.”

The NBA has been one of the leading voices in supporting wider regulation of sports betting in the US, with league commissioner Adam Silver last month calling for a new federal law to regulate gambling in the US.

In November, the NBA also announced plans to lobby US Congress to legalise and regulate sports betting across the country, while Silver in July last year stated his belief that sports betting would be legal across the country within “the next few years”.

However, the NBA’s latest statement was met with criticism by the American Gaming Association, which said although it was pleased that the league “vigorously supported sports wagering”, it added that the role of the government “most certainly does not include transferring money from bettors to multi-billion dollar sports league”.

In response, NBA spokesperson Michael Bass said: “Sports leagues provide the foundation for sports betting while bearing the risks it imposes, even when regulated.

“If sports betting is legalised federally or state by state, we will need to invest more in compliance and enforcement, and believe it is reasonable for operators to pay each league 1% of the total amount bet on its games to help compensate for the risk and expense created and the commercial value our product provides them.

“This is a similar approach to legally-regulated sports betting in other international jurisdictions.”

Related articles: NBA chief urges regulatory overhaul in US
NBA to lobby Congress to legalise sports betting in US
NBA commissioner believes US ban will end in ‘next few years’

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