- David Stern was one of several professional sports league commissioners that supported the federal ban against sports betting in 1992.
- Current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was the first professional sports league commissioner to voice his support for legal sports betting.
- David Stern is also a heavy investor in ShotTracker, a technology company that captures real-time statistical data for basket players and teams.
PHILADELPHIA – Former NBA Commissioner David Stern is now a supporter of legal sports wagering and betting on the NBA.
Earlier this month, Stern headlined the Sports Innovation Conference at Citizens Bank Park where he shared his thoughts on how legal sports wagering can increase viewership and sponsorships for leagues.
“Enter sports wagering,” said Stern. “Where some people who might never watch a game decide they are going to watch the last quarter or make a prop bet. You get others who are going to watch it longer because there is action throughout the game.”
“Who hasn’t noticed the entry of sponsors? FanDuel and DraftKings are beating each other’s brains out. When you enter William Hill and others there is a whole new sponsor category. In the immediate run, it’s going to make sports leagues more valuable, increase players’ salaries and be a super-charge for the league.”
Why Stern May Support NBA Betting Now?
While support for legal sports betting is shared by most professional sports league commissioners now, that wasn’t always the case.
In 1991, David Stern was one of several league commissioners that testified in the US Senate which eventually led to the enactment of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).
However, leading up to the repeal of PASPA in May of 2018, current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver voiced his support for the activity.
The narrative around the industry has changed dramatically since the repeal of the law with 18 states having legalized sports betting since then. The NBA, in particular, now has deals in place with several sports betting operators including FanDuel, DraftKings, and William Hill.
Sports leagues have tried to lobby state governments to mandate the use of their official league data to licensed sportsbooks. So far only, only two states have caved in to their demands. But, the issue of accurate sports data for the use of in-game betting has continued to dominate the industry.
Enter David Stern. The former commissioner, along with NBA legend Ervin “Magic” Johnson are now investors in the data-tracking company ShotTracker.
The firm specializes in gathering real-time data concerning players’ performance which can then be used by teams, fans, and possibly even sportsbooks. ShotTracker is now implemented at 60 different college basketball programs and could become an asset to those offering live betting on the NBA.
Stern went on to endorse the tech-company at the Sports Innovation Conference.
“The fans in the stands are going to know the coaches have the wrong lineup based on the first half states. The coaches are going to love it. It’s a great product,” said Stern.
The company is still in its initial stages and plans to enter the sports betting industry are still a bit unclear.
But, given how lucrative in-game statistics can be to sportsbooks and how other leagues are trying to sell that data to sports betting companies, it would be no surprise to see ShotTracker partnering with the NBA for that purpose in the future.
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– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.