The NBA Finally Steps Into the Ring With Legalized Gambling

The NBA finally put together its proposal to get a piece of the burgeoning gambling market, and the highlight is its rake.
Namely, one percent of all of it.
Adam Silver has been the one commissioner of a major North American sport to embrace the concept of legalized gambling, on the very sensible theory that it's already happening. The only question was what their piece would be for advocating its legitimacy, and it was answered Wednesday by league attorney Dan Spillane, testifying before a New York State Senate committee.
A penny of every bet. Every money line bet, every bet against the line, every over/under, every teaser, every prop bet. If The Logo is on it, the NBA gets a kickback.
It will be the same, with varying percentages, for the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NHL (yes, there is lots more action now that there's a team in Las Vegas that has the best record in the sport and looks like a lock for the Stanley Cup playoffs), the PGA, the USTA, the USOC and even Major League Soccer. They'll all opt in for a piece.
But the trick is in what Silver and his 30 overlords decide to do with that one percent. If it's just a windfall they get for doing nothing but nodding, it will be of no value except to them. If it is part of the revenue split with the players, we may see LeBron James as the game's first $50 million-a-year player. If it goes to charitable and/or regulatory causes to keep the games on the square while putting some additional muscle behind the league's talk about social justice, then one percent might not be enough.
After all, the only thing better than getting paid to no longer be a hypocrite is to help somebody else with the money. Between that and the fines accrued for technical fouls and ejections this year, the NBA might be flush forever.
And I think the league would certainly agree to that.

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