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NBA Commissioner Calls for Enhanced Federal Gambling Framework

Officials from the NBA are calling on the US federal government to enhance its regulatory framework for regulated sports betting. The comments, made by NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum, come in the wake of criminal charges being filed in New York against figures in the Jontay Porter betting scandal and a slew of other national sports betting scandals involving professional athletes.

Tatum praised the efforts of professional sports leagues and state governments in rooting out bad actors through compliance laws, but added that it just wasn’t enough. What Tatum and the NBA want to see is a version of what is working today that is regulated at the federal level.

“When the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in the U.S. that really left sort of two options, right? Continue the illegal sports betting or it was to embrace a legalized sports betting system so that, quite frankly, we could identify the sort of behaviour that this uncovered,” Tatum said in comments reported on by the Canadian Broadcast Network.

“The fact that we were able to look at certain irregularities in betting lines, and the data that we were able to receive from our partners allowed this to come into the light. We’ve always been, again, an advocate for a federal regulatory framework here. I think it creates transparency that we didn’t have previously, which allows us to maintain the integrity of the sport, which is essential to all sports leagues,” he added.

So far, the NBA is the only professional sports league calling for more federal gambling oversight. That said, the league has always been on the forefront of sports betting advocacy, so it will be interesting to see if other leagues back this effort.