Do you remember where were you on May 25th, 1993 around 2:30 am? Michael Jordan was in Atlantic City, spending his hard-earned dollars in a casino and we can be sure there was at least one person who was not too excited about that fact. That would be Phil Jackson, Michael’s coach. He needed him on the court later that day because it was Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Knicks.
Jordan’s passion for gambling is well documented and it seems the NBA is trying to accommodate its biggest star. Earlier this month attorney Dan Spillane represented the NBA in front of the New York State Senate committee in a hearing about lifting the ban on sports gambling. The end goal is legalizing sports gambling on a federal level in the US and the NBA is leading the way.
The league is asking for 1% of all bets made which might not sound like a lot, but Nevada alone will probably reach 5bn $ in betting in 2017. That’s all the action happening in casinos. Millennials don’t have time for that and don’t worry kids, the NBA’s got you fam. They want the law to include legalizing gambling on smartphones and kiosks. Yep, game on screen 1, HBO on screen 2 and some live action on your iPhone
The legal argument is that the league provides the action that is being gambled upon and will have costs in the prevention and protection of the integrity of the game. We wouldn’t want Player X’s cousin making a bet that player X will make the first foul of the game or have the first turnover, would we?
What does it mean for the game? This would be interpreted as a BRI (Basketball Related Income) meaning it would fall under the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) and that would make it an FWY (I'm just Fuc**** With You with this one)….CAP SPIKE INCOMING!!!!!! That 1% wouldn’t be the only new revenue stream in this story. If you want to provide live betting, you need live data. The NBA actually has live data on NBA games and is willing to sell it. Go figure. Also, suddenly those patches on jerseys could be worth a lot more if they bring an action on your gambling app, right?
We only have rough estimates on how much money this would actually be, so no one really knows how much this would influence the salary cap. It is possible we have another 2016/2017 on our hands. It is also possible the Player’s Union agrees to cap smoothing and GMs do not make desperate decisions. It is also possible the Earth is flat #Kyrie.
We will keep you updated as the story unfolds, but hang in there Knicks fans. You may get to make another Noah contract sooner than you feared.
P.S. In case you wondered, Bulls lost that game. MJ scored 36 on 12/32 and scored 11 in the second half. They won the next 4 and later won the Finals. GOAT