NBA chief urges regulatory overhaul in US

4 December 2017

Adam Silver, commissioner of North America’s NBA basketball league, has called for new federal law to regulate gambling in the US.

Sports betting in particular faces something of an uncertain future in the US, with the US Supreme Court this month set to hear a case from the state of New Jersey challenging the federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

New Jersey wants to overturn 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 state has said it is against the U.S. Constitution for the federal government to usurp state rights and provide Nevada with the ability to offer sports betting, but deny other states the same opportunity.

Silver has now said that regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in the case, he is keen for the government to look at new regulation for gambling in the US.

“If the state of New Jersey were to win that case, I think we’re then looking at a framework that I don’t think is ideal, and that is that you have potentially 50 different sets of rules for 50 states,” Silver told WFAN.

“I don’t agree with the current federal law; I’m on the same page as [New Jersey Governor] Chris Christie there.

“It’s just that where he’s in essence promoting state-by-state ability to enter into sports betting how they may choose, our view and the NBA’s view is let’s have a new federal law that sets consistent guidelines from state to state, but at the same time gives states the option as to whether they want to allow sports betting in their jurisdictions.”

In November, the NBA announced plans to lobby US Congress to legalise and regulate sports betting across the country.

Speaking in July, Silver also said he believed sports betting would be legal across the country within “the next few years”, saying such activities would result in “enormous additional engagement with the fans”.

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