Anti-gambling NHL commish to talk at upcoming G2E

Anti-gambling NHL commish to discuss gambling at upcoming G2E

Anti-gambling NHL commish to discuss gambling at upcoming G2ENational Hockey League (NHL) commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t like gambling – despite his coincidental surname. He was one of the main reasons U.S. lawmakers initially pushed for the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) and was present over the years as New Jersey was working to get the Supreme Court to strike it down. However, Bettman is apparently adept at skating off the ice and has now flip-flopped on his anti-gambling position. His reasons are already coming to light, but he will offer more insight as he heads a panel discussion on gambling at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) next month in Las Vegas.

Even before the Supreme Court shot down PASPA, Bettman must have seen what was coming. As the NHL’s first commissioner, he is the first head of the league to put a team in Las Vegas when the Vegas Golden Knights came to town in 2017. Only five months after PASPA was shot down from the clouds, the NHL had already signed a partnership with MGM Resorts.

Bettman knew his previous stance would come back to bite him and he must have a pretty solid PR team behind him. He said earlier this year, according to the Washington Post this past March, “Times have changed. The concerns we had at 10,000 feet had nothing to do with the integrity of the game. It had to do with atmospherics and the like, and the practical element as to how this was all going to work.”

“Atmospherics and the like.” Perhaps he can shed some light on that at the upcoming G2E. Bettman is going to lead the “Executive Viewpoints: NHL Commissioner Bettman and Leading Gaming Executives Discuss New Business” discussion at the event on October 16

Bettman had also said, according to the Post, “Once the Supreme Court ruled, we got to get with the program. And frankly, as a practical matter, I owed it to our fans, I owed it to our clubs, to embrace the evolving world, whether it’s sports betting or changes in technology. In this day and age, you either evolve or become extinct.”

The world is always evolving; it never stops. Many sports fans have always wanted to be able to place wagers – hence the multibillion-dollar offshore industry that has thrived for decades and the success of sports gambling in Las Vegas. Bettman makes everything look as smooth as the ice after a Zamboni run, but, just like the rink, there’s more under the surface than meets the eye. Perhaps G2E will help shed some light on the story.