NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses sports betting concerns

July 11, 2023
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Silver commented on leagues' responsibility for educating players, while also cautioning that any player engaging in prohibited gambling will get caught.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke recently about the league’s commitment to watching gambling trends within the industry. At the Associated Press Sports Editors Convention, Silver said that after NFL issues with the subject, the NBA is taking action to mitigate potential problems.

Silver, who does agree with the legalization of sports betting, has compared wagering from players in the public eye in top US leagues with illegal activity on the stock market, and assured those listening that any such activity will be identified.

He said, “I think public markets worked very well in this country. 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.”

The NFL has suspended players for both betting on NFL games and for betting on non-NFL games from within an NFL facility. The NFL has upped its education and training for players around what is permitted when it comes to sports wagering since, and Silver agrees that the NBA should do the same.

He said, “I think there’s a responsibility for these leagues to invest more education, not just our own players, but of young people who might be doing something inappropriate or anybody who might be engaging in problematic gambling.”

Silver also mentioned the possibility of NBA expansion, regarding a series of media rights deals, which upon completion could see the league grow its presence within new markets, including Las Vegas. LeBron James is one particular player in support of Las Vegas getting an NBA franchise.

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