Last updated on: June 22nd, 2022

NBA’s Thoughts On Making Sports Betting Legal

The NBA was one of the first leagues to not only accept, but embrace legal sports betting. The NBA has changed its stance on sports betting over the years, going from totally against it, to then simply acknowledging gambling, and finally supporting it once the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in 2018. Given the amount of money bet on sports and the interest that sports betting generates, it should come as no surprise that the NBA is now a proponent of gambling on their games.

Does The NBA Support Legal Sports Betting?

The relationship between the NBA and the legal sports betting industry continues to expand in 2022. Along with the support of the NBA commissioner, the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has recently signed a deal with the sports betting company DraftKings. Jordan is now on the Board of Directors as a special advisor for the company. Though he was always known as an avid sports bettor this deal creates official support and ties to NBA ownership and the sports betting industry.

What Kinds Of Legal Sports Betting Regulations Does The NBA Want?

In 2014, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote about his views on sports betting. Given his capacity as the face of the NBA, it is fair to associate his desired regulations align with those of the NBA. In Silver’s sports betting piece, he outlined six regulated sports betting measures that he would like to see in place:

  • Betting line monitoring that would flag any unusual betting line movements.
  • Licensing protocols on prospective betting operators.
  • Age verification to ensure no sportsbooks accept underage bettors.
  • Geo-location tools that only allow sportsbooks to operate where they are legal.
  • Tools to identify and exclude problem gamblers.
  • The creation of educational resources that highlights the importance of responsible betting.

Do NBA Owners Support Sports Betting?

Nearly all NBA owners have outright said that they support sports betting. The Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs have not spoken much on the subject, similar to the Utah Jazz who may run the risk of alienating their fans if they supported sports betting. Multiple NBA owners such as Michael Jordan, Tillman Fertitta, and Mark Cuban are either stakeholders in different legal online sportsbook or have outright supported the movement. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert even allegedly operated an illegal sportsbook during his college days.

How Would The NBA Benefit From Legal Sports Betting?

The NBA benefits from legal sports betting in two ways: increased interest in the game when viewers have the chance to bet on the NBA and financially. With nearly all online sportsbooks offering odds on the NBA, it is easier now than it ever has been to place a bet. Betting on the NBA naturally means fans are more invested and interested in the games. Financially, legal NBA betting is music to the league’s ears. 22 teams now have partnerships with online sportsbooks, all of which are worth millions of dollars.

NBA Teams With Sportsbook Partnerships

Team Sportsbook Partnerships
Brooklyn Nets Betway, FanDuel
Chicago Bulls Betway
Cleveland Cavaliers Betway, Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, Fubo Sportsbook
Dallas Mavericks Betway
Denver Nuggets PointsBet
Detroit Pistons BetRivers, DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet, WynnBET
Golden State Warriors Betway, DraftKings Sportsbook
Indiana Pacers DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet
Los Angeles Clippers Betway, DraftKings Sportsbook
Los Angeles Lakers FanDuel
Memphis Grizzlies FanDuel, WynnBET
Miami Heat Betway
Milwaukee Bucks Betway
Minnesota Timberwolves Betway, DraftKings Sportsbook
New Orleans Pelicans BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook
New York Knicks BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook
Orlando Magic FanDuel
Philadelphia 76ers BetMGM, Betway, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, FOX Bet
Phoenix Suns FanDuel
Portland Trail Blazers FanDuel
Sacramento Kings DraftKings Sportsbook
Washington Wizards Caesars Sportsbook

Setting The Silver Standard

Adam Silver obviously understands our evolving world, and he seems to realize how important it is to shake off the taboos of underground tradition so it can find a happy medium with aboveboard technology. With his outspoken and thoughtful support for legal sports betting under the umbrella of state regulation and oversight, he has done more than any figure in the popular media to posterize PASPA at the rim. He’s done his research. He understands that legal betting poses no more risk to the integrity of the game than illegal betting, and he’s ready for his product to offer the fans exactly what they’re asking for.

When it comes to sports betting, Silver is the gold standard, and other leagues would be wise to look at his stance as the model of pragmatism going forward.


NBA’s Thoughts On Legal Sports Betting FAQs

How Many Sports Betting Partnerships Does The NBA Have?

The NBA has a few sports betting partnerships currently. Deals with FanDuel, Fox Bet, and MGM Resorts are just the tip of the iceberg to the NBA’s embracement of sports betting. With these partnerships, bookmakers have access to the NBA’s trademarks as well as official league data. This allows sportsbooks to supply live betting on the NBA more efficiently. Live betting is the premier way to wager on sports so these partnerships simply make sports betting that much bettor in the long run.

When Is Virtual Betting On The NBA Coming?

‘NBA Last 90’ is a virtual betting platform that will essentially drop players into the final 90 seconds of a fictional game between two real teams. The 90 seconds of the clip will be pulled randomly from past footage of previous matches between the two teams. An algorithm will ensure that the end result of each game is random, thus creating thousands of betting opportunities. The 2019-2020 NBA season marks the initial release date. 

What Other Avenues Has The NBA Explored?

The NBA is already far ahead of the other US sports leagues due to their embrace of technology. Already, the NBA has a major partnership with Take Two Interactive, the maker of popular video game NBA 2K. The NBA created the 2K League, and even promoted betting on matchups during their programming.