Sports betting became legal in Indiana on Sunday, September 1. Governor Eric Holcomb placed the first legal sports bet on Sunday at the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville. Though the odds may not be in his favor of winning, the governor placed a $10 bet for the Indianapolis Colts to win the Super Bowl and a $10 bet for the Indiana Pacers to win the NBA Finals.
A Memphis Grizzlies official is joining a council that will regulate Tennessee’s new online-only sports betting law. In Monday’s letter, Tennessee Senate Speaker Randy McNally announced Kandace C. Stewart will serve a term on the sports betting board that expires June 30, 2021. Stewart is the team’s business operations and external affairs director.
Walk into the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City or sign on to its sports betting website right now, and you can place wagers on pretty much every major sport. Just not the NBA. That’s because the casino is owned by Tilman Fertitta, the billionaire restauranteur who also owns an NBA team, the Houston Rockets.
State lawmakers have passed a bill that loosens New Jersey’s sports betting restrictions by reworking the team owner prohibition. It’s now up to Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the measure into law or veto it.
The bill (A5463) would permit anyone who owns 10 percent or more of a professional sports team to accept bets on games within their league, as long as it doesn’t include the team they own. That means the Nugget — the only New Jersey casino or race track affected by the ban — would be allowed accept NBA bets, as long as they are not wagered on Rockets games.
Silver says there’s technology coming that will enable the league to tap into newly legalized sports betting in eight states. “We’re working from a digital standpoint to develop a better app to make those kinds of opportunities available,” Silver said. “You’ve got to keep people entertained and engaged.”
Arash Markazi: The Los Angeles Clippers are now 3/1 favorites to win the NBA championship at @LVSuperBook, followed by Milwaukee at 4/1 and the Lakers at 6/1. According to @golfodds, since July 2, they have sold just 1 ticket on the Clippers at 16/1 for $10. Incredible.
Bloomberg Live: The @Sacramento Kings gaming stream, Call The Shot “I think it will double the value of the franchises. Legalizing it will bring it into the sunshine and put rules around it. We created a physical lounge where you can play and 70% are women.” @Vivek Ranadivé #PlayersTech
A virtual sports betting game featuring NBA highlights and footage will debut next season in U.S. and European gaming and lottery markets, the league and NBPA announced Wednesday. “NBA Last 90” will drop contestants into the final 90 seconds of a simulated matchup between two NBA teams and offer wagering propositions on what transpires during the ending of a fictitious game.
NBA partner Highlight Games Limited, a specialist games supplier, stiches together highlights from recent seasons to tell a story of what plays out during the 90 seconds. Contestants will be able to wager on several outcomes, including which team will win, who will score on the first possession and the total points scored by both teams. A random number generator, similar to what’s used in slot machines, will determine the outcomes.
Arash Markazi: The updated NBA championship winner odds from @SuperBookUSA. Los Angeles Lakers 3/1, Milwaukee Bucks 6/1, Los Angeles Clippers 7/1, Houston Rockets 8/1, Toronto Raptors 10/1, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers 12/1
None of that changes the overall picture — the Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to win the NBA Finals. The Warriors are -320 to win the NBA title, the Raptors +260 at the Ceasars Palace sportsbook. What that means for non-gamblers is you have to bet $320 to win $100 on the Warriors, while a $100 bet on the Raptors wins $260. The Warriors are also 1.5 point favorites to win Game 1 on the road without Durant and coming off a nine-day layoff where rust is to be expected.
Sportradar, an authorized data distributor for the NBA, sent a letter Thursday notifying sportsbook operators that the league was forcing it to “cease providing to you NBA Official Data for use in the United States unless and until you are an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA.” According to the letter, obtained by ESPN, Sportradar will shut down access of the feed at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Game 1 of the Finals is Thursday.
The NBA’s data feed is primarily used by sportsbooks to run their live betting options, updating odds that are offered on different outcomes throughout the game. Live or in-game betting is a growing market in the U.S. but still does not represent significant betting handle for sportsbooks in Las Vegas. The vast majority of money bet on in-game wagering options is on the point spread, money-line and over/under total points, bookmakers say.
Last month, the NBA sent a memo to all its team owners detailing a series of new rules about owning sports betting companies and related businesses. In a nod toward gambling, referee transparency rules have been gradually implemented over the past decade, from announcing officiating crews in advance of games to the publishing of the last two minute reports. However, even as the NBA gets deeper into business with sportsbooks, the league has yet to take meaningful action when it comes to injury reporting.
It became an issue again over the weekend when a rib injury to Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard that was kept secret might have contributed to his 5-of-18 shooting performance in a Game 3 home loss on Saturday in the Western Conference finals. Lillard suffered a separated rib on his left side after being landed on by Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney in Game 2 on Thursday. NBA rules require teams to announce whether a player is probable, questionable, doubtful or out by 5 p.m. the day before a game. Lillard’s injury was diagnosed Thursday night in Oakland, sources said, but it was not put on the injury report. It was reported by several media outlets after the game Saturday and confirmed by Lillard on Sunday.
So, many of the league’s owners who see growth potential are partnering with or investing in gaming companies. In response, the league created a new “20% rule,” in which team owners can’t have more than a 20 percent ownership stake in a sportsbook or they would be forced to have their team’s games excluded from the board. Yet, there is still no change in injury reporting rules, ground zero for where high-interest games could be influenced. This is especially true in the NBA playoffs, in which a star player’s availability or health status could be a huge factor in how the game plays out. There’s significant gray area. Players are protected by federal privacy laws. Also, at this late stage of the season, many players are dealing with various injuries. Several players on each team could be put on the injury report with some malady, which could mask more significant injuries.
NBA and PGA officials came to New York on Wednesday to urge legislators to legalize “mobile” sports betting, saying it would root out illegal gambling and prevent New York from losing potential revenue to other states.
Advocates say sports betting shouldn’t be limited to “in-person” wagers; otherwise the state will lose out to illegal gambling internet sites and other states, such as New Jersey, which rapidly have moved to expand sports gambling since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ban in 2018. “Having a competitive mobile marketplace in New York could cause consumers to shift whatever they are doing now with illegal, offshore sites,” Dan Spillane, an NBA vice president, said at the Wednesday hearing.
Liz Mullen: Lakers owner Jeanie Buss at #sbjwcs says legalized sports gambling a big issue in sports. Buss said it may drive more interest by fans, but the league has to protect the players, the officials & integrity of sport.
The Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee heard about various aspects of expanding gambling during an hourslong hearing Thursday, that included testimony from NBA Senior Vice President Dan Spillane. Afterward, he said the NBA supports legalizing sports betting in Illinois, but the association wants to make sure it protects the integrity of the game and protects the fans who would be placing bets.
“If sports betting is going to be successful it crowds out illegal markets, encourages people to bet in legal markets, and that’s going to create jobs and revenue for the state,” Spillane said. Illinois’ professional sports teams support the concept. One proposal would give teams 25 cents for every $100 wagered. The teams also support online sports betting.
Illinois major league teams – the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls – sent a joint letter to state Rep. Michael Zalewski. They said if wagering is legalized in Illinois it should be allowed via a mobile platform online. “Mobile betting allows fans inclined to wager to do so easily and from the comfort of their seat, whether in the venue or when watching a game on television,” the joint letter said. “Moreover, because fans can already place bets with offshore operators via mobile apps, authorizing mobile betting in sports betting legislation is essential to the broader effort to bring bettors from the unregulated to the regulated market.”
The Wizards and the Sacramento Kings are among the teams that are attempting to educate would-be bettors — in case legalized sports betting happens to come to the District of Columbia or California. Some Wizards games now have an alternate feed, where the potential bettors get to see in real time what in-game betting will look like. “Right now, the people who go to casinos to gamble, it’s a small community and it generates $8-10 billion a year in revenues and play,” Leonsis said. “But there’s probably $100 billion that’s in the shadows by really sophisticated gamblers. And obviously the first step is we want to get that audience that’s gaming illegally to come into the sunlight.”
At least 30 other states, plus the District of Columbia, have either drafted or voted on bills to allow betting in the not-so-distant future. “The arena is the game console,” Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive said. “And your phone is the controller for the game console. So we’re only limited by our imagination.”
How the Kings envision it working this: Fans will go to the lounge, use iPads to make their “bets,” then return to their seats and watch the game unfold live. The Kings have been calling it “predictive gaming,” and fan feedback is overwhelmingly positive. “The popularity of predictive gaming shows no signs of slowing down,” said Bobby Skoff, the co-founder of Swish Analytics, which is partnering with the Kings on creating the lounge space.
Harrison Faigen: Jason Kidd is the heavy favorite from Bovada to be the next Lakers head coach. You can also bet on LaVar Ball, Luke Walton and others pic.twitter.com/stEMbWKWs5
The NBA is preparing to double down on policing its players, teams and staff amid the expansion of legalized sports gambling in the United States, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told ESPN. Speaking in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, Tatum, who is also the NBA’s chief operating officer, revealed that moves have been made to get up to speed on the opportunities and threats surrounding the issue since May’s Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to sanction sportsbooks in a manner that has been commonplace in Europe for decades.
That will mean extra resources to prevent the kind of in-house infractions that have plagued a number of sports, such as soccer, tennis and cricket. Spanish police recently arrested 28 professional tennis players, including one who participated in the US Open, who were linked to a group accused of fixing matches. NBA’s gaming rules, overseen by the league’s security department, specifically prohibit betting, fixing or tipping, including the encouragement of others to place wagers, or exercising any “improper influence or manipulation.”
“Sports leagues provide the foundation for sports betting while bearing the risks that sports betting imposes, even when regulated,” Spillane said in the statement. “Without our games and fans, there could be no sports betting. And if sports betting becomes legal in New York and other states, sports leagues will need to invest more in compliance and enforcement, including bet monitoring, investigations, and education.”
Spillane was responding to a call by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday for states to oppose a bill that would give the federal government control of regulating sports betting. Christie told lawmakers from gambling states they should resist so-called “integrity fees” as well as the mandatory use of official league data. Leagues have been unsuccessful so far in getting states to agree to pay them a cut of sports betting.
A city-sponsored study estimated that 150 to 200 D.C. businesses might seek licenses to take sports bets, but the bill that was approved last month by the city council grants special privileges to the four stadiums and arenas. If those operators choose to get in the gambling business, no other entity can take sports bets legally within a two-block radius. That means the most prominent brick-and-mortar sports wagering locations in the city could be Capital One Arena in Chinatown, Nationals Park, the newly-constructed Audi Field and the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights.
Perhaps the biggest winner will be Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis, who owns Capital One Arena, in addition to teams such as the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, and has been an outspoken proponent of legalized sports betting. Because of league restrictions, Monumental would have to partner with an established gaming company to run the sports betting operation and effectively would serve as landlord to a sportsbook. Leonsis’s venture capital firm Revolution Growth has invested in DraftKings, but Monumental has not yet announced any gambling partners to date.
Monumental likely would identify retail space around the building that would be open to fans even when no teams are playing in Capital One Arena. “I could see someone comes here for lunch, someone gets here at 5 o’clock, they’re watching other games, they’re placing their bets,” Leonsis told The Washington Post in an interview last year.
LeBron James is the most valuable NBA player when it comes to the point spread, even as the superstar who turned 34 this week plays in his 16th season. In fact, he has earned this consensus distinction by often being undervalued in a betting market that tends to overvalue All-Stars. “He’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen,” Las Vegas SuperBook head oddsmaker Ed Salmons told ESPN, sharing that James means more to a betting line than other current players “in a vacuum,” all things being equal.
Liz Mullen: NBA announces expanded multiyear partnership making FanDuel an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA. FanDuel gets access to official NBA betting data as part of the deal. pic.twitter.com/NN7tNt0UQd
Led by commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA has been at the forefront of the world of sports technology for the last four years. Under Silver, the league has embraced data, social media, esports, and now sports betting. Over just the last 12 months, the league formed a partnership with Intel’s venture capital arm called the “NBA + Intel Capital Emerging Technology Initiative” and expanded options through its League Pass service to include nightly virtual reality content and the ability to watch just the fourth quarter of NBA games. The NBA has entered into sports betting data partnerships with MGM Resorts in the U.S., and with Genius Sports and Sportradar globally.
On Tuesday, the NBA announced a multiyear partnership with international gaming operator The Stars Group, which runs the BetStars online sportsbook in New Jersey and also is going through the sports betting licensing process in Pennsylvania. The deal will make The Stars Group an authorized gaming operator of the NBA in the U.S. The company will have the right to use official NBA betting data and league marks and logos across digital sports betting offerings.
The NBA will promote The Stars Group across the league’s digital assets, including NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA social media platforms. In turn, The Stars Group will promote the NBA across its gaming platforms, including popular online poker site PokerStars. “This dynamic partnership will be another way to create authentic fan engagement with league logos and official NBA betting data, while leveraging Stars’ global expertise to further optimize the fan experience,” Scott Kaufman-Ross, head of fantasy & gaming for NBA, said in a release announcing the deal.
Real-time, official NBA data will be used to generate in-game betting odds and then be distributed to licensed sportsbooks in the U.S. through multiple partners in a deal announced Wednesday — the first such arrangement for a major American sports league.
In the front-right corner of the sportsbook, above the betting windows, the iconic, official red-white-and-blue NBA logo is on display right next to the lit-up oddsboard showcasing all of the day’s point spreads. It’s glaring, visual evidence of the thawing relationship between two of America’s favorite pastimes — professional sports and gambling — as well as a precursor to a high-speed, data-driven evolution that is coming next. “A lot has changed,” said Scott Butera, president of interactive gaming for MGM Resorts, which owns the Borgata. “What’s really changed is the fan base and the way they’re changing how they consume sports.”
Industry sources estimate the NBA-MGM deal to be worth at least $25 million. MGM received the exclusive rights to call itself the official gaming partner of the NBA and permission to use league and team logos. Eventually, MGM bookmakers also will get access to the NBA’s official data feed, which will be used to fuel the minute-by-minute in-game wagering that is anticipated to become increasing popular in the future. For now, the marketing portion of the partnership is most visible. NBA.com ran a pick ’em contest based on the MGM odds on each team’s season win total, and official logos are beginning to appear at MGM sportsbooks, something that had been prohibited in the past.
The company that owns the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and a major New Jersey sports arena is going all in on promoting sports betting. Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment on Tuesday announced its second deal in five days to open a lounge at Newark’s Prudential Center to promote sports betting to customers with gambling accounts on their mobile phones.
The National Hockey League announced a sports betting partnership Monday with MGM Resorts, following the NBA into making a data deal with the casino group to enhance gambling offerings. Under the NHL deal, as with the NBA partnership, MGM Resorts will have access to enhanced NHL game data generated by league tracking systems to decide the outcome of various bets.
There may be hope for the other contenders, though. The Warriors’ title odds entering last season were as high as -240 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. This year, they are as low as -160 at FanDuel’s sportsbook in New Jersey, and their season-win total is sitting at 61.5, six games fewer than last year’s season-win total. Golden State won 58 games in the regular season last year. While the odds may indicate that the gap between the Warriors and the rest of the league has narrowed, Jeff Sherman, a sportsbook manager who oversees the NBA odds for the SuperBook, cautions that the league is far from being wide open. “If the NBA was more wide open, or at least perceived that way, [betting] handle would be greater than what we are seeing now,” Sherman told ESPN in an email. “So many teams have little to no chance of winning the title with the lack of parity. At this point, our handle on NHL outrights [odds to win the Stanley Cup] is greater than NBA outrights.”
MGM Resorts International executive Scott Butera envisions a day when teams put sports-betting parlors inside their stadiums to make it easier for fans to place wagers. “The conversion rate from sports fan to sports bettor is very high,” Butera said in an interview. “That’s your most robust customer.”
Butera, who joined Las Vegas-based MGM as president of interactive gaming in June, said he’s been talking to leagues and individual teams about deals, such as the three-year agreement MGM signed with the National Basketball Association in July to be the league’s official gambling partner. As part of that accord, the NBA shares game data with MGM and both the company and the league cross-promote each others’ brands online.
Even though Rich Paul is doing his part to slow the speculation that his new client Anthony Davis could join his biggest client LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers, that’s not stopping people from putting money down on the possibility. According to the online sportsbook Bovada, the Lakers are the favorite to have Anthony Davis on their squad at the start of the 2019-20 season.
Behind the leadership of the NBA — first of the leagues to support legalization of sports betting — MLB and PGA Tour officials have joined in pushing a five-point plan to state regulators. At its core, the five-point plan calls for not only making the betting markets transparent but also requiring gambling regulators or bookmakers to notify leagues if they spot questionable activity and help identify league insiders — players, coaches and officials — who bet on their own sports at gambling sites. The leagues want regulators to share real-time, account-level betting data in hopes of identifying irregular patterns and be required to cooperate with any investigations.
Dan Spillane, the NBA official spearheading efforts, notes that unless Congress intervenes to put in minimum standards, which he believes is unlikely, the leagues are stuck with lobbying individual state legislatures. The Supreme Court decision late this spring came after many legislatures were already out of session, so the process remains in the early stages as lawmakers return and additional states consider gambling bills. As for the possibility of federal oversight going forward, more might be known after a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Thursday. “We have a receptive audience in the things we’re talking about,” Spillane said. “It is hard to argue doing things that protect integrity, protect fans.”
Widespread legalized sports gambling is here/coming. What will the NBA do about it? Apparently get behind Chuck Schumer. Statement from the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour: “As legalized sports betting spreads across the states, there is a need for consistent, nationwide integrity standards to safeguard the sports millions of fans love. We strongly support the legislative framework outlined by Senator Schumer and we encourage Congress to adopt it.”
The Cal product expressed his curiosity of gambling within sports, especially now that it’s been legalized. Brown also spoke about cryptocurrency, saying that he wants to understand more about the complex topic. He’s not investing yet, but Brown says he’s getting ready.
National Basketball Association senior vice president Dan Spillane said pro basketball, the Professional Golf Association and Major League Baseball each want a quarter of a percentage point integrity fee. The proposed fee is a compromise from the 1 percentage point he initially sought.
Spillane said the fee would add about $7 million a year to the NBA from New York sports betting book operations. That additional fee revenue could help expand the salary cap for NBA teams. “Leagues should be viewed as partners not adversaries,” he said. “Without sports there is no sports betting.”
Mike Vorkunov: NBA announces it has reached a deal with MGM Resorts as an official gaming partner for the league and WNBA. Says MGM will have non-exclusive use of anonymized real-time NBA and WNBA data and branding. Adam Silver says they’ll work together to “enhance the integrity of our games.”
Eddie Sefko: Here’s how much Kawhi Leonard trade impacted NBA title odds? (odds on July 2 to current): Warriors 21/20 to 4.7, Celtics 4/1 to, 11/2, Lakers 7/2 to 7/1, Rockets 13/2 to 15/2, 76ers 12/1 to 16/1, Raptors 60/1 to 18/1, Thunder 60/1 to 40/1, Spurs 50/1 to 66/1. Jazz 80/1 to 90/1
Alex Kennedy: If you’re betting on LeBron James to the Lakers, you’d have to bet $5,000 just to make $100. (In other words, they think LeBron to L.A. is a done deal.)
Tim Bontemps: Adam Silver says about sports betting: “The real issues are access to information … what we can do is about the information we can get from these states” about who the bettors are, to determine any abnormal behavior.
This year’s matchup is expected to be the most lopsided. The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened Golden State as a -1,000 favorite to win the best-of-seven series, which tips off Thursday. The Warriors are the largest Finals favorites in at least 16 seasons, according to odds database Sportsoddshistory.com.
Q: Will the players get a cut? Brian Windhorst: Absolutely. Sponsorships fall under basketball-related income (BRI), and the players get 50 percent of that money. Also, in the recent collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the union negotiated that income from gambling falls under BRI and will be shared with the players. This is the new vein of revenue for the league. Q: What impact will that have on the salary cap? And when? Brian Windhorst: After a modest increase in the cap this season, the NBA is projecting the salary cap to inflate by $7 million in 2019. The league hasn’t explained the reason, but some of that projection might include some anticipated new gambling-related revenue. It will probably take a year or two for states to get operations fully up and running before possible ancillary money flows to the NBA.
Q: What is the league doing to protect the integrity of the game? Brian Windhorst: The league already hires firms to monitor all legal betting across the globe. I’ve personally seen the operations at one of them — Sportradar, in London — and it’s impressive. It has busted match-fixing in many sports. Of course, these firms can’t monitor illegal betting, which is why moving this to a legal framework is better for everyone. But the league is pushing for regulations in all states, such as banning certain prop bets that could be easy to manipulate. For example, who gets called for the first foul in a game is somewhat ripe for exploitation, so the league wouldn’t want to allow bets like that. For other in-game wagers — like, say, who will score the next basket — the league has sought to keep relatively low limits on the size of those bets to fight the temptation for corruption. It’s hard to try to buy off a player making millions if the most anyone can spend on a prop bet is $100.
In 2016, the Sacramento Kings developed and launched an interactive, predictive gaming platform for fans to wager points on in-game action – from their arena seat or around the world. “Call the Shot” is part of the award-winning, dual-mode Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app – the fan “remote control” for the world’s most technologically advanced and sustainable arena. The Supreme Court’s decision, coupled with potential legislation in California, could pave the way for fans to use the innovative gaming platform to consume and interact with the game in new ways. “The next-generation of fan experience is embracing technology, allowing fans to further connect with their favorite sports and teams through advanced data, video and fantasy games, as well as limited-wagering. Opening gaming creates new opportunities to transform how fans are consuming the game inside and beyond the walls of the arena. I applaud Commissioner Silver for his leadership and look forward to an open dialogue on this important issue.”
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting on Monday. But long before that, Nets ownership had already started mulling how to cash in when the inevitable happened and legal wagering became a reality.
“The ruling opens up a lot of potential,” Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said. “Once we see the decision enacted in terms of legislation, we will look at the best way to maximize its benefits for our fans and enhance value for the Nets and our venues.”
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will have a tremendous impact on fan engagement and creates value for the Nets and our venues,” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark said. “We are currently exploring sports betting opportunities, and once we fully understand the legislative direction, we can better determine how to activate in the space.”
Melissa Rohlin: Steve Kerr on being the undersogs in Vegas in Game 1 of the WCF: “I’m taking the Warriors, plus 1 1/2. I read that whole story about gambling this morning, so now I guess I’m about to oust my picks.”
Michael Lee: GSW hasn’t been underdogs in any game with both Stephen Curry & Kevin Durant in the lineup…until Game 1 of WCF. A first time for everything, I guess. HOU deserves respect for being the No. 1 seed but are we really supposed to consider it an upset if the Dubs win?
The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, giving states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports. The Supreme Court on Monday struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA). The 1992 law barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.
No matter how it shakes out, American professional sports and how fans consume and interact with them are about to change. And the NBA and MLB have been working tirelessly to construct a way to profit from it. “The leagues kept their distance … when sports betting was put in place decades ago,” Spillane said last month in Vegas. “That was the wrong move. We’re not going to make that mistake again. We are going to be engaged in the process.”
The Western Conference finals don’t tip off until Monday, but one Las Vegas sportsbook is already paying out bets on the Golden State Warriors. The owner of that casino? Tilman Fertitta, who also happens to own the Houston Rockets. Fertitta purchased the Rockets for $2.2 billion in September. He also owns the Golden Nugget casino in downtown Las Vegas.
After the sale, the Golden Nugget sportsbook followed normal gaming procedure and halted all NBA futures bets that involved the Rockets in an effort to eliminate any concerns over conflicts of interest. The sportsbook then removed the Rockets from the list of teams available to bet and reposted odds on the team to “finish best” in the Western Conference and the Finals. With Houston not offered, the Warriors have already finished best in the Western Conference at the Nugget, and anyone who bet Golden State may proceed to the cashier’s window, even though the series hasn’t started.
The Houston Rockets have home-court advantage in the Western Conference finals, but they’re still underdogs to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened the Warriors as -185 favorites to win the best-of-seven series against Houston. The Rockets opened at +155, meaning a $100 bet would win a net $155 if Houston prevails.
The major player associations — NFLPA, the NBPA, the NHLPA and the MLBPA — had been silent on the topic. That changed on Thursday morning, when they released a joint statement clarifying their position on sports betting. The statement in part reads: “The time has come to address not just who profits from sports gambling, but also the costs. Our unions have been discussing the potential impact of legalized gambling on players’ privacy and publicity rights, the integrity of our games and the volatility on our businesses. Betting on sports may become widely legal, but we cannot allow those who have lobbied the hardest for sports gambling to be the only ones controlling how it would be ushered into our businesses. The athletes must also have a seat at the table to ensure that players’ rights and the integrity of our games are protected.”
The reaction of the Greek league after the report was to inform the judicial authorities about its content. The following press release was issued today. “With a letter send today (17/3) HEBA President, Mr. Evangelos Galatsopoulos (photo), informs the public prosecutor of sports Mr. Constantinos Simitzoglou for the content of the publication of the website hoopshype.com and asks him to proceed immediately with any legal action within the scope of its powers to investigate the content of the above publication in order to protect the credibility of the championship. The letter was communicated αλσο to the Sports Minister Mr. George Vassiliadis, the Professional Sports Committee and the Hellenic Basketball Federation”.
Brian Windhorst: The Supreme Court could rule this morning on the New Jersey sports gambling case. If NJ wins, 15-20 states could soon follow, the huge sporting betting industry could come into the light & American sports could materially change.
Basketball and baseball also saw increased betting interest. More than $1.4 billion was bet on basketball, both college and professional, and baseball attracted $1.1 billion in bets. Both are record amounts. The sportsbooks capped 2017 by winning $34.5 million in December. The books have come out ahead in 53 consecutive months, a streak that dates back to July 2013. As the Nevada industry continues to grow, the United States Supreme Court is reviewing a federal sports betting law and is preparing to release a decision in the coming months that could give other states an opportunity to legalize sports betting.
A key component of a proposal outlined by the National Basketball Association on Wednesday urging Congress to create a federal framework to allow states to authorize sports betting nationwide was met with skepticism by numerous interested parties, including several prominent sportsbooks. While appearing at a New York Senate committee hearing, NBA senior vice president Dan Spillane testified that if sports betting becomes legalized in a number of states across the country, leagues such as the NBA will need to invest more in compliance and enforcement actions for assuming the added risks associated with gambling. As such, Spillane said, the NBA believes that it is reasonable for gaming operators to pay the league 1% of the total handle legally wagered on its contests, drawing on models currently in place in Australia and France.
At the same hearing Wednesday, CEO Joe Asher of William Hill U.S. criticized the legislation in Indiana, describing the proposed integrity fee as a “cleverly” termed benefit for a select group of professional sports leagues. Traded on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of around $3.5 billion, William Hill holds gaming licenses in the United Kingdom, U.S., Italy, Spain and the Bahamas and is one of the largest sports betting companies in the world. “Now, let’s be clear — that’s just a euphemism for a cut of the action,” Asher said in prepared testimony. “There will be plenty of financial benefits to the leagues. There is no need to divert tax revenue from the citizens of New York to a privileged few.”
In what could end up being a seminal moment for sports gambling in America, the NBA on Wednesday formally requested a set of laws that could be the basis for professional sports leagues pushing for national legalized wagering on games. Dan Spillane, an attorney for the NBA, testified in front of a New York State Senate committee and for the first time made it clear what the league’s price would be to become a partner in legalizing the multibillion-dollar industry. The NBA wants 1 percent of every bet made on its games in addition to other regulations, a request that could create massive revenue for the NBA and other sports leagues in the future.
Spillane also said the NBA wants more widespread access to gambling for its fans, pushing for bets to be made legal on smartphones and kiosks and not just inside casinos and racetracks. That would increase the amount of wagering and, in turn, create more revenue for the league under its desired plan. “We have studied these issues at length,” Spillane said in his statement to lawmakers. “Our conclusion is that the time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager on sporting events while protecting the integrity of the underlying competitions.”