Silver: NBA Betting On Props Can Lead To ‘Shenanigans’

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NBA betting

NBA commissioner Adam Silver opened up recently about the difficulties that the league faces while operating within the legal and regulated sports betting market and some potential changes.

Jontay Porter was playing on a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors. He received a lifetime ban for violating the league’s sports betting policy. 

NBA considers sports betting limits

LSR reported conversations between the NBA and its sportsbook partners were expected on possible prop betting limits on lesser-paid players. Prohibiting bets on two-way players is under consideration, LSR confirmed. 

“We only have so much control,” Silver said last week at the Associated Press Sports Editors Commissioners Conference. “For example, the NCAA has made the point about the risk to college players. There’s a large pool of players in college whose careers will end after they participate in college athletics. So there’s not as much at stake. There’s clearly a lot more at stake for a superstar player than there is for a two-way player.

“So it goes to the kinds of players those bets can be placed on. And then the types of bets as well. Certainly, prop bets, depending on how precise they are, lend themselves to more shenanigans than other kind of bets.

“Now, some of that can be captured through various monitoring. But we also recognize that a large amount of the handle — I’m not sure the precise percentage, but my hunch is there’s still far more illegal (betting) than legal.”

NBA: Relationships give us some say

The NBA has business relationships with sportsbook partners like BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel. Those relationships lend themselves to the league having at least some say on market types and betting offerings. 

“There are limits to our control. But we think there should be a regulated framework, where it’s the leagues working together with the state oversight groups and the betting companies, whether or not we have partnerships with them,” Silver continued.

“In some cases, we have partnerships with, just take DraftKings and FanDuel, where we don’t have absolute control. But when we have a marketing partnership with those companies we have a lot more say than with companies where we have no partnership whatsoever.

“Then we’re relying on them doing a broader-based concern about integrity in the industry. And them not running afoul of the regulators.”