It’s only a matter of time before sports betting is legalized in the United States. At least, that’s what Mark Cuban thinks.
In an interview with Fortune, the Dallas Mavericks team owner said it’s about time the country takes a deeper look at its sports betting laws, which he described as already “rotting in the dark ages.” In fact, the billionaire said an overhaul is “inevitable,” especially in light of the number of fantasy sports fans that continue to balloon across the country.
“It will take some time for the courts to overcome the grandstanding by a few district attorneys, but once that happens I think we will see a slow but sure availability of gambling across the country. The bottom line is that it will create needed tax revenue that states will want,” Cuban said in the interview.
Once that’s out of the way, Cuban said he also hopes to see partnerships between professional sports leagues and bookmakers formed—similar to what NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been advocating since 2014.
The outspoken businessman said the fact that sports betting is still illegal in the United States, when its European neighbors allow the public to bet on sports through brick and mortar shops, is “un-American.” Two years ago, Cuban told ESPN: “It’s crazy that we allow it in the rest of the world but it’s really upsetting that sports leagues don’t think Americans are good enough to gamble on our sports, but the rest of the world is. That’s un-American.”
Back in October, Cuban teamed up with fellow sports team owners Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis and gambled on a future where there is legalized sports betting in the United States. The trio invested $45 million into Swiss sports data company Sportradar AG, which counts international bookmakers among its top clients.
Cuban, who has also wagered millions on eSports startup Unikrn, believes the booming popularity of competitive gaming will impact traditional sports like NBA, which will lead to possibilities such as virtual-reality basketball games that viewers can bet on.
“I think the NBA will work with our partners to extend our games into the eSports world. There is lot of room for us to grow there,” Cuban told Fortune.