NBA Commissioner Adam Silver emphasized the need for US leagues to closely monitor gambling trends in their sports, citing the recent challenges faced by the NFL. Speaking at the Associated Press Sports Editors convention in Las Vegas, Silver drew a parallel between insider trading and sports betting, highlighting the importance of staying ahead of potential integrity issues.
“I think that public markets worked very well in this country,” Silver said, as reported by AP, highlighting how leagues are finding ways to stay ahead of major problems. “But the other side of a public market is the potential for insider trading. And there are very sophisticated algorithms, etc., that track it.”
“It’s not that different in sports now, especially when you get higher volumes of betting. You have very sophisticated computers; when they see aberrational betting … you’re going to get caught.”
Silver also expressed the belief that leagues have a responsibility to invest more in education regarding gambling, not only for players but also for young individuals and those engaging in problematic gambling.
The remarks follow the NFL’s recent suspension of several players for gambling-related issues. The league suspended four players for violations of its gambling policy; three received at least yearlong bans for betting on NFL games and one a six-game suspension for wagering on non-NFL games.
The recent bans bring the total to 10 players disciplined over the past two years as that league vowed to increase training efforts across the board with an eye toward protecting the integrity of the game.
Regarding league expansion, Silver stated that the NBA would consider it once the next series of media rights deals are finalized. With significant interest in markets like Las Vegas and Seattle, the league will evaluate expansion opportunities in the future.