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An NBA executive will be among those testifying in front of a New York Senate committee about the possibility of legal sports betting in the state.
The hearing — which will take place Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eastern in the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering — came to light earlier this month. But details on the hearing came out on Tuesday.
The highlight is the presence of the NBA. Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Dan Spillane will testify.
There are several active sports betting bills in the state, although it’s not clear which, if any of those, will advance. The hearing comes as the New Jersey sports betting case in the US Supreme Court could end the federal sports wagering ban and open up the possibility of states being able to legalize single-game betting.
The state already legalized wagering at four commercial casinos with a change in federal law. But many in the state want to extend the ability to offer sports wagering to other gaming facilities, including horse racing tracks and off-track betting parlors.
Spillane’s presence is a big deal. It’s the first example we’ve seen of a professional sports league testifying in front of lawmakers on their desire to see legalization of sports wagering in the US. The NBA and Major League Baseball are behind lobbying efforts to include an integrity fee in a sports betting bill in Indiana.
But no one from the leagues has put forth their position vocally on state-level regulation. In its history, the NBA has been:
The latest change appears to be that the NBA no longer insists that a federal framework is the only possible solution, as it has begun lobbying for state-level laws.
Given the MLB’s presence alongside the NBA in sports betting lobbying, it’s interesting that it will not appear at the hearing. The two leagues likely believe they will lose in the Supreme Court.
The rest of the witness list for the hearing is dominated by the gaming industry. Current stakeholders in NY and others from the sports wagering industry will speak: