The CGA Supports David Silver’s Position on Sports Betting

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) fully endorses the op-ed written by NBA commissioner David Silver on November 13, 2014, as he points to the experience in England and places outside of the United States where sports betting is legal, regulated and popular to underscore the need to re-think the American position.

Professional sports leagues, the NBA included, supported the creation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act  (Paspa) in 1992, which generally prohibits states, with the exception of Nevada, from authorizing sports betting.

As Silver notes, prohibition doesn’t work. “Despite legal restrictions, sports betting is widespread. It is a thriving underground business that operates free from regulation or oversight. Because there are few legal options available, those who wish to bet resort to illicit bookmaking operations and shady offshore websites.”

We couldn’t agree more. Sports betting is a massively popular international pastime that is open, transparent, and regulated almost everywhere else in the world but North America. International sports organizations like the IOC have long supported Mr. Silver’s position. What he is advocating for currently occurs in many countries where sports organizations, governments, regulatory agencies, betting operators, and local and international law enforcement organizations share information to identify irregular and illegal betting.

As Silver himself points out, times have changed since PAPSA was enacted. And it is precisely because he’s concerned about the integrity of his sport that he thinks sports betting should be “brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.”

Let’s hope that the Senate follows Silver’s initiative to address the issue head on through regulation, instead of continuing to pretend that it doesn’t exist.