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Silver supports legal wagering

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Updated 10 months ago on
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Adam Silver has shown during his first year as NBA commissioner that he’s not afraid to take stands on issues and also think about the future of the sport.

So maybe it comes as no surprise that Silver wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times advocating the legalization of regulated sports wagering throughout the United States.

The NBA recently entered a partnership with the one-day fantasy site FanDuel and now Silver wants to go a step further.

“There is an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events,” he wrote. “Mainstream media outlets regularly publish sports betting lines and point spreads. Voters in New Jersey overwhelmingly voiced their support for legal sports betting in a 2011 referendum.”

Silver pointed to other countries such as England that allow wagering from smartphones or with a television remote control.

“In light of these domestic and global trends, the laws on sports betting should be changed,” Silver wrote. “Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards.”

Silver believes that legalized sports gambling is inevitable and that the league should get on board. He realizes that the ability to wager on an event generates more interest in the outcome.

“If you have a gentleman’s bet or a small wager on any kind of sports contest, it makes you that much more engaged in it,” Silver said. “That’s where we’re going to see it pay dividends.

“If people are watching a game and clicking to bet on their smartphones, which is what people are doing in the United Kingdom right now, then it’s much more likely you’re going to stay tuned for a long time.”

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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