By David Purdum
Former NBA commissioner David Stern will discuss his support for legalizing sports betting at a September gaming conference in Las Vegas.
Stern will be a featured speaker at the Global Gaming Expo on Sept. 29 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. He will discuss the future of sports betting and its impact on major professional sports with president and CEO of the American Gaming Association Geoff Freeman.
During his 30-year tenure as NBA commissioner, Stern adamantly opposed sports betting, even as recently as 2012. In deposition testimony in the New Jersey sports betting litigation, Stern said, “New Jersey’s contemplated sports betting scheme threatens to harm irreparably not only the unique relations the NBA enjoys with its existing fans, but also the league’s potential relationship with future fans, who may form allegiances to a particular team because they are drawn instead to the competing interest of the betting line and the money that can be made from it.”
Stern’s successor, current commissioner Adam Silver, has since come out in support of legalization and called on Congress to create a federal framework of regulations to allow states to offer sports betting. The NBA also has taken equity in the daily fantasy industry.
“I’m with Commissioner Silver,” Stern said at a New York City conference last October. “There should be a federal legislation that says, ‘Let’s go all the way’ and have betting on sports. It’s OK. It’s going to be properly regulated.”
According to organizers, sports betting will be a major focus at the Sept. 26-29 conference, billed as the “world’s largest gaming convention.”