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.”