As the scope of sports betting in the U.S. widens, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is staying vigilant in the monitoring of its players, teams, and staff, to keep everything above board.
In an interview with ESPN, the league’s Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said work was being done to avoid game-fixing controversies that have hit other sports and leagues, while still reaping the benefits that come with legalized wagering.
Aside from increased revenues, the official also noted legalization meant “better information being captured.” The NBA has partnered with sports data firms Sportsradar and Genius Sports for the distribution of official data on games to U.S.-based operators. Sportsradar has already been providing official NBA data to legal operators outside the States for over two years.
The NBA prevents league and team personnel from betting, fixing, and tipping, as enforced by its security department.
“A lot of it has to do with education with respect to our players, with respect to our teams… We’re spending a lot of time learning from the mistakes that were made and what we’re seeing in sports betting in places around the world,” Tatum said.
He cited the English Premiere League, which could provide lessons in dealing with such things as team sponsorships and placement of betting outlets and advertisements.
“That really helped inform some of our thoughts on how sports betting could work in the United States… We’ve gone to school on them. We’ve actually shared a lot of information with them and have a great partnership with them,” he said.
The increased recognition of the gaming industry can be seen in NBC Sports including coverage of in-play betting opportunities for alternate broadcasts of games, which began this month. While network commentators and advertising breaks are the same as regular broadcasts, NBC provides additional onscreen graphics with additional data to better inform bettors, for the alternate feed.
The number of states filing and passing legislation for sports betting is constantly being updated. New York’s governor’s office has already factored in legalization in its latest budget plan, even before the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) is given express authority to regulate in light of the Supreme Court’s lifting of the federal ban last May.