NBA chief wants to join Christie in US sports betting push

NBA chief wants to join Christie in US sports betting pushAdam Silver, the commissioner of the North American NBA basketball league, wants to join forces with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to establish a legal framework for sports betting in the US.

Silver, speaking to ESPN, said that he would like to link up with Christie to lobby Congress in a bid to rewrite federal laws on the matter.

In October, New Jersey was forced to delay the launch of a new legalised sports betting offering in the state after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order in response to a motion that was filed by four major North American sports leagues, including the NBA, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

However, Silver has spoken previously about his backing of regulated sports betting across the US and this week told the ‘Outside the Lines’ programme that he wants to establish a uniform federal structure that would acknowledge that sports gambling already takes place in many venues.

Silver said: “Governor Christie – and I’m happy to join him – should turn his attention to Washington, DC, to Congress, and say, ‘Here are all the reasons it should be regulated, but let’s come up with a framework that makes sense on a national basis presumably that would allow states to opt in.’

“Whether it’s ESPN with ‘Bracketology,’ whether it’s all the betting lines in every national newspaper, on every web service… my point was there’s massive, massive sports betting going on in this country.

“Estimates are that it’s up to $400 billion a year. And my view is, if it’s going to go on, let’s make it transparent, let’s bring it into the sunlight, so to speak, and let’s regulate it, the same way we do a lot of other industries.”

Christie responded to Silver’s comments by saying: “If Adam Silver believes that sports gaming is OK, then allow sports gaming in New Jersey, allow us to be the model.”

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