Sports Betting Regulations Needed Says David Stern

by Jim Hall

David SternFormer NBA Commissioner David Stern shows support for regulated and legalized sports betting in the United States.

The Global Gaming Expo took place this past week with several legal analysts, officials and more discussing several aspects of gaming. New products were reviewed and companies hoping to see their new creations added to online casinos as well as land based gambling venues. One individual attending the Global Gaming Expo was former NBA Commissioner David Stern. Stern spoke out on the subject of sports betting and used the G2E public forum to speak out his support of regulation and legalization in the US. Stern spoke about his feelings with Geoff Freeman, the CEO of the American Gaming Association.

Stern in Support of Sports Betting

Stern was attending the G2E but was not representing the NBA during his appearance. However, his opinion is one that is respected as it carries weight because of his former position within the sports league. While working as the commissioner, Stern was heavily against sports betting and went along with prohibition that currently exists in the United States.

The question then becomes, when did he change his mind and why? On the subject, Stern stated that over time he has come to accept that fact that properly run gambling operations are protective and not deleterious, to the health of sports. Early on, he thought the idea of gambling was bad but realized that this was an outdated notion as he began to learn more about illegal gaming and the size of this particular market.

While Stern has changed his opinion, he is not looking to see the PASPA repealed. The PASPA is a federal law where sports betting is basically banned across the United States expect in four specific states, including Nevada.

Federal Plan for Sports Betting

Stern did show support for federal framework for sports betting that would see all stakeholders involved in the industry. According to Stern, everyone needs to come together with casinos, experts in financial regulation, gaming tech companies and sports leagues included. These groups could then work together to come up with specific terms for model legislation.

The former NBA commissioner stated that the sports leagues will need to participate and contribute to the process helping to regulate gaming in a certain way and guaranteeing integrity. The regulatory scheme could then be created and emerged, be passed and states as well as sports leagues could opt in to the wagering option if they so choose.

A Repeal of PASPA

Others interested in seeing sports betting allowed across the nation would like to see a repeal of the PASPA. With a repeal, states would be able to decide if they wanted to take part in sports betting, similarly to how casino and poker gaming is allowed to take place online. However a simple repeal will not be sufficient.

The PASPA amending or even creating a new bill for regulation will be complicated. Stern feels that leagues could be actively involved and many leagues are ready to move forward with considering framework for legislation, including the current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver who has expressed he is willing to work on sports betting.

Stern has also stated that he is not wanting to see the state by state approach considered. The leagues are not wanting to see this as well. It would not be fun for the leagues to have to deal with 50 different governments in regards to sports betting. If a federal option was allowed, states could choose to take part but would not be taking varying approaches to sports betting if legislation was created state by state.