NBA commissioner, Adam Silver has weighed in on the ongoing controversy concerning daily fantasy sports betting, saying that it would be best if the rapidly growing daily fantasy betting business, which is emphasised is completely legal, gets a federal regulatory framework so that it comes under proper scrutiny. The NBA is a partner of FanDuel, a major player in this industry, and the Commissioner’s comments will not have any bearing upon the business association between these two entities that is serving them both very well. A senior NBA executive, Salvatore LaRocca, is closely associated with FanDuel as an ‘observer’.
While the NBA commissioner is the first senior sports official to voice his reservations about daily fantasy sports publicly, it is unlikely that he is the only one to think along this line. In fact, his statements should be seen as a call to nip any illegal irregularities in the bud before they destroy this business. As a sports administrator, he would definitely have to ensure that not only the sport, but also individual fans are protected by having proper regulations in place. After all, increased transparency will definitely benefit customers and it will be good for the industry in the long run.
Business is indeed booming for daily fantasy sports operators, but there have been numerous calls to investigate business practices in the light of recent scandals in which employees have won large amounts of money after placing bets using inside information. Furthermore, there have been questions about whether this business is actually legal at all. Lawmakers from different parts of the country have raised doubts whether the daily fantasy sports industry is permitted under state and federal laws.
Industry major, FanDuel came out in support of Silver’s statements, saying that regulations are indeed necessary to protect the interests of sports fans who wager their money on fantasy matches. The company has assured its support to lawmakers to ensure that the industry gets the regulations it requires. Industry leader, DraftKings, on the other hand, did not make a direct statement on this issue. Instead the company stressed on the point that while daily fantasy sports was perfectly legal, it would welcome any measures to protect the interests of players. Bob Bowman of DraftKings stakeholder MLB Advanced Media said that industry regulations are inevitable and that they would be good for the industry.
The daily fantasy sports industry is at a crossroads at this time, and it is subject to investigations by state and federal agencies. There is a strong possibility that congressional hearings will also take place soon. At the same time, both FanDuel and DraftKings are conducting an advertising blitzkrieg that indicates just how popular this business is.
Adam Silver’s far sighted views on this subject should not come as a surprise since the NBA commissioner has also taken a forward looking stance on the question of sports betting. While the other sports bodies are firmly set against making sports betting legal, Silver is of the opinion that legalisation of the multi-billion dollar sports wagering industry will enable it to get the regulation it requires.