NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver has written a thought provoking, and some would say provocative, article in the New York Times in which he has said that the time is right to bring about a number of federal regulations to finally legalise betting on sports.
As of the present, there is a ban on sports betting in the United States as per a federal law from 1992 called Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
The opinions of Silver are especially interesting given that the NBA has consistently challenged any attempts to overrule or bypass this law.
It may have been possible to dismiss this article as nothing, but posturing were it not for the fact that the NBA is presently considering getting into partnerships with a number of reliable companies that are involved in sports betting.
Needless to say, the companies in question are in other parts of the world, especially Europe, where sports betting is established and legal.
According to reliable information, the NBA will be actively involved in the promotion of the products it launches along with the sports betting company.
It will be interesting to see how far the NBA will shift from its previously held stance against sports betting.
There are very reliable indications that the multimillion-dollar deal will be worked out by summer and that the new products will be rolled out in time for the next season.
There is also an immense sponsorship deal in the works. An important part of the deal will obviously be branding across each company’s platforms; all parties will benefit tremendously from the deal should it be finalized.
The discussions are currently very hush-hush, but they have obviously generated a great amount of interest.
The NBA has already built up a large consumer base and it has invested in technology that will come in use in the event that online sports betting actually becomes legal.
It has already partnered with Fan Duel to get into the highly lucrative business of fantasy sports games.
The NBA’s mobile platform and related infrastructure is expected to come in handy for sports betting.
Fan Duel is probably the common factor here since it already has business interests with one of the gambling companies believed to be in talks with the NBA.
Interestingly, one of the more tech advanced NBA teams, the Sacramento Kings, is already trying to promote use of its mobile app buy linking it to its loyalty program.
The likelihood of online sports gambling being permitted in the United States is still very faint since it is illegal in most states. Even the NBA’s efforts will be restricted to international markets on account of these legal hurdles.
However, the good news is that there seems to be a thaw in the attitude towards sports betting, with Major League Baseball head honcho Rob Manfred also saying that he is open to the idea.
Exciting times are definitely ahead for fans of sports and gambling since it seems very likely that the United States is moving towards legalising sports betting.