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The basketball hall of famer and former Los Angeles Lakers star will deliver a keynote address at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) on Thursday, Oct. 5.
The keynote will be fairly wide ranging. But the more interesting part for proponents of sports betting will be an ensuing conversation he will have with American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. That chat will cover “his views on the future of sports betting legalization and the possibilities of it being accepted into the mainstream sports industry.”
“Magic Johnson’s experience on and off the court has helped shape his successful business career,” Freeman said in a press release. “I look forward to talking with him about the future of sports betting.”
Johnson brings a unique perspective to the issue, as he is president of basketball operations of the Lakers. He also is part of ownership groups for the L.A. Dodgers of Major League Baseball and the L.A. Sparks of the WNBA.
Johnson does not appear to be acting as a representative of the NBA. But it’s the second year someone with ties to the league will talk about sports betting at G2E.
Last year, former NBA Commissioner David Stern appeared at the conference and gave his thoughts about sports betting. Then, he espoused a federal framework.
Of course, current Commissioner Adam Silver has been the most aggressive of the sports betting legalization of front out of all the major US pro sports leagues.
The issue is coming to a head as the US Supreme Court will rule on the New Jersey sports betting case in 2018. That offers the possibility that other states could legalize sports gambling, if New Jersey wins the case and the federal ban is struck down as unconstitutional.
Several panels at the gaming industry gathering will focus on the issue of sports betting, including:
Freeman will also discuss sports betting during his “state of the industry” address on Tuesday, Oct. 3.