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NBA endorses Chuck Schumer’s plan for federal regulation of sports gambling

2018 NBA Awards - Inside

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 25: Adam Silver speaks onstage at the 2018 NBA Awards at Barkar Hangar on June 25, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)

Getty Images for Turner Sports

Widespread legalized sports gambling is here/coming.

What will the NBA do about it?

Apparently get behind Chuck Schumer.

Darren Rovell of ESPN:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) became the latest member of Congress to put forth specific suggestions for a federal framework for sports betting Wednesday in a memo first provided to ESPN.

Schumer’s suggestions include the idea that all sportsbooks only use official league data to determine outcomes and that the sports leagues themselves should be involved in determining what bets would be accepted.

Schumer also suggested leagues would have to reasonably step up monitoring, but did not mention so-called “integrity fees,” the idea that leagues should be paid a portion of bets on their sport as compensation for ratcheting up security associated with sports gambling out in the open.

Schumer also puts forth more obvious suggestions, such as making it illegal for anyone under 21 to place a sports bet in any state; requiring entities taking bets to responsibly advertise by not targeting youth and to properly disclose dangers of betting; and reporting suspicious activity and sharing information among sportsbooks, the leagues and state regulators that could help uncover anything that compromises the integrity of games.

Statement from the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour
As legalized sports betting spreads across the states, there is a need for consistent, nationwide integrity standards to safeguard the sports millions of fans love. We strongly support the legislative framework outlined by Senator Schumer and we encourage Congress to adopt it.

Of course the NBA likes Schumer’s plan. It gives the league a monopoly in handling the necessary data. The NBA could extract many millions from sportsbooks, building on one casino partnership already in place.

Why not allow other parties to supply data? As long as bettors understand who’s tracking results and how, they can make an informed decision on where to gamble. Giving the NBA a monopoly would hurt consumers, as the league’s inevitable high charge to sportsbooks would get passed down to bettors.

And why is 21 a logical age minimum for sports betting? People can already gamble in many places at 18 or 19.

People bet plenty on sports while it was illegal (illegal because of Congress, no less). Where was Schumer’s concern for the integrity of sports then? That integrity was far more likely to be compromised while sports gambling was an underground market. Bringing the activity into the light should alleviate concerns of integrity.

Integrity seems like just an excuse for more federal regulation, which the NBA will welcome as long it makes the league more money.