When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver came out in support of legalized gambling legislation, there was one motivation behind it — money.
Silver looked at things like the Barclays Premiere League where three teams have their kit/jersey deal with an online gambling company, and numerous other teams have other sponsorship deals with said firms. For a global brand like the NBA, that’s a lot of potential cash on the table.
And the NBA is already looking to get a piece of it, reports Jered Zwerling of Bleacher Report.
Indeed, B/R has learned, through sources involved with the situation, that the NBA has been in recent negotiations with several global sports betting companies, which include but are not limited to Bwin.party and William Hill. One of them could soon become the league’s official partner in Europe’s regulated markets, which allows for betting on American pro sports.
“The NBA has seen the success that English Premier League soccer clubs have had with sports betting operators, and they’re following that same model,” a source with knowledge of the discussions said. “They’ve seen the naming rights and the size of those deals, and they understand that it’s an opportunity to open up another revenue stream overseas, in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Right now, this would likely be just an overseas thing for the NBA as there is no legalized online gaming in the United States.
However, Silver sees what is coming — Americans are still gambling online, that money is just going overseas, and if states regulate it there will be a hodgepodge of rules. Better to have one federal set of rules for everyone to follow. Makes sense. Of course, good luck getting anything that makes sense out of Washington right now.
Whatever happens, Silver wants to be sure the owners are positioned to make more cash off it. This is a business first, lest anyone forget.