Adam Silver Expects Sports Gambling to Be Legalized 'In the Next Few Years'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media to discuss the Board of Governors meetings on July 12, 2017 at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
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NBA commissioner Adam Silver maintained an optimistic outlook Tuesday that legislation will be enacted in the coming years to make gambling on professional sports legal.

"My sense is the law will change in the next few years in the United States," he said, according to Sports Business Journal's John Ourand

"People want to bet throughout the game," Silver also noted. "It results in enormous additional engagement with the fans."

Silver has long been a proponent of legalizing sports betting, and he went so far as to write an op-ed for the New York Times on the subject in November 2014.  

"There is an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events," he wrote at the time. "Mainstream media outlets regularly publish sports betting lines and point spreads. Voters in New Jersey overwhelmingly voiced their support for legal sports betting in a 2011 referendum."

Silver even went so far as to endorse a wholesale legislative change: "Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards."

In June, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from the state of New Jersey regarding the legalization of betting on professional and college sports at casinos and racetracks, according to the New York TimesNick Corasaniti and Joe Drape