In what started as just fantasy sports, we now may begin to shift towards legalized sports betting for the NBA. In an article published by Brian Windhorst of ESPN, he discussed how soon this could be a possibility; starting in the state of New Jersey and then other states following suit within the next few years.
A betting company in New Jersey, William Hill, has already prepared a sportsbook that would be ready to open for business within days of a favorable ruling. The thing that is interesting about this is of course is how much revenue the league could gain from this. On the surface, you just see fans betting on games and placing live bets on games in progress. In order to see the potential gain, you must look much deeper than what’s on the surface.
According to New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie:
“Why are we living in a fantasy world? You have $190 billion last year bet illegally in the U.S. on the major sports leagues and the NCAA.”
To Christie’s point, there are plenty of websites where people can get their money on and bet on the NBA and just about everything else. By legalizing sports betting, fans no longer have to hide it.
How the NBA would thrive from this is very simple. They could potentially gain a ton of new viewership. Fans that can comfortably place bets on games might potentially buy NBA League Pass and watch more games. Additionally, the consumers would be more inclined to tune into that nationally televised game if they have something to win or lose on the line.
You can see how everything progresses in life when it comes to technology and different advancements. You started with fantasy sports, that from there transitioned into daily fantasy sports. The next big step would be to legalize sports betting and owners should definitely see the potential gain.