Cuban Betting on the NBA
Mark Cuban isn’t known as a guy who agrees with the NBA commissioner very often. As a matter of fact, his decade-plus tenure as owner of the Mavericks has been filled with incidents where he so vehemently disagrees with the commissioner’s office that he’s paid out enough money in fines that could have signed a pretty good power forward for a year or two. What has brought Cuban into agreement with NBA commissioner Adam Silver is the concept of legalized betting on NBA games. As Cuban sees it, the fact that the league doesn’t allow legalized gambling on its games makes them “the biggest hypocrites” in the world…and he’s right. Outside of Nevada, gambling on sporting events is pretty much illegal in the rest of the country.
Silver recently said that he’s asking the federal government to allow states to authorize betting on professional sports, with strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards. Cuban has no problem with it, saying, “I agree 100 percent, I think we’re the world’s biggest hypocrites when we say, ‘Oh, we don’t want you betting on our games,’ and then we get all excited about the sports betting line and people go to Vegas on trips won from the NBA or NFL. I mean, it’s hugely hypocritical. I just think that Adam did the exact right thing. I think by focusing on the federal regulations and making the changes there, that it will change. It’s just a question of when.”
Cuban thinks the laws will change over the next 3 to 5 years and his reasoning is very sound and something that would make almost anyone ask…”why has it taken this long.” Cuban also brings up a good point that is probably the linchpin to starting the change — The National Football League. No one is more hypocritical than the NFL when it comes to gambling. The league is adamantly against betting on its games while at the same time making sure that every team strictly reports its player injuries and availability. The NFL will actually fine a team for not revealing the specific injuries of players in the week leading up to games. It’s widely known that this is so the gamblers will have ample time and information to place bets, knowing who’s in and who’s out.
At the same time, the NHL for example, can report almost anything when a player is injured and often simply says a player has an “upper body injury” which could mean anything from a concussion to an ankle sprain. Reason is, gambling isn’t a big part of the NHL while it’s a billion dollar business for the NFL. Cuban and others rightly point out that the rest of the world can bet on American sports, just not Americans. Cuban sees things changing when the league’s can put money in their pockets, like they do in Europe for example, by charging casino’s and sports books for information sources and video sources. The U.K. and other parts of the world are actually big customers of NBA video. When dollars start flowing into the NBA and NFL’s pockets, you can bet your last dollar that their almighty stand against gambling will go away quicker than a losing gambling stub.