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.”