My first instinct is that the last sport that would want to allow legalized sports betting is the NBA, because of the whole Tim Donaghy scandal and all. But in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen, NBA commissioner David Stern said he's actually somewhat open to the idea.â†µ
Stern made no commitment to legalized gambling on NBA games in our wide-ranging conversation last week at league headquarters in New York. He did, however, open a dialogue that could ultimately lead to a new relationship between the NBA and legalized sports betting. It's important to grasp the context as detailed below, but for the first time he referred to nationally legalized gambling on the NBA as a "possibility" that "may be a huge opportunity."â†µ
Stern's reasoning is that allowing legalizing betting will make it easier for the NBA to track the industry, rather than have the mob slip under their noses and get to employees like Donaghy. He also tells Thomsen that it's harder to oppose gambling on moral grounds now that so many state governments are considering legalizing sports betting so they can tax it. However, Stern stopped short of saying gambling would be an immediate moneymaker for the NBA, telling Thomsen it'll be up to his successor to determine that.â†µ
Hey, maybe it's worth giving it a shot. The NBA is losing money, after all. Why not put all possible ways to make that shortfall up onto the table?