What the Supreme Court Decision on Sports Gambling Means for the NBA

Adam Silver
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver chairs a press conference before the NBA London Game 2018 at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images)

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (1992), leaving it up to the state governments to legalize sports gambling. Currently, it is only legal in Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. However, with the recent Supreme Court decision, it seems many more states will be making attempts to legalize sports gambling.

How will this decision on sports gambling impact the NBA?

The decision made by the Supreme Court to leave sports gambling laws up to each state will have a large impact on the NBA. Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver had previously been on the fence about the legalization of sports gambling being determined by each state, saying that it is okay as long as the league is compensated for its part in the gambling.

Silver supported this claim in a statement made after the Supreme Court’s decision went public, stating, “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass laws legalizing sports betting. We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it, but we will remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures. Regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority.”

It seems that sports gambling will begin to become legalized in more and more states across the country, something that all sports are going to have to deal with at some point. For the NBA, it seems that as long as the league is getting its cut of the money, they are willing to negotiate with the states about allowing it. While Silver may not be happy with the decision, it seems that he is on board with the current state of the laws.


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