New Jersey is expected to offer sports bets by the end of the month and many states will likely open up their own shops in the coming months. It’s a huge win for the gambling community and those in the gaming industry, but it’s also a huge win for owners of NBA teams.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he believes franchise owners saw the value of their teams double as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that will allow states the right to permit sports gambling. The Shark Tank star added that he has no plans to sell the Mavericks regardless of how high the valuation for his team is, as I relayed on Twitter.
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who is also a part owner of the Golden Nugget casinos, sees the ruling as a plus, but not necessarily a 100% increase in value for his franchise.
“Do I hope Mark is right? Yes, but I don’t think that’s where it really is,” Fertitta said on CNBC’s Power Lunch. “Remember, there’s already a black market … out there and you’re not going to be able to go to a game and bet on a game…Even though this has been pushed back to the states, there is still going to be a lot of federal regulation.”
The NBA and NFL are among the leagues pushing for federal regulation, but that might not be in the cards, as I explain on NBAMath’s Hardwood Knocks podcast. States have owned the decision-making power with regard to gambling for quite some time and it’ll be difficult for the federal government to take that from them. Cuban believes the leagues and states need to work together to come up with the right framework or there will parties that win and parties that lose.
The possible increased interest in the NBA as a result of sports betting is also a plus for the players over the long-term since the salary cap is tied to the league’s revenue. While the record-setting $24 billion dollar TV contract won’t expire until after the 2024/25 season, once the deal is complete, I speculate that the NBA will have the leverage in negotiations with media companies to set a new record as a result of this month’s ruling.
Then again, the players may not have to wait until the next TV deal to see significant gains. The NBPA previously expressed a desire to have a seat at the table as the NBA negotiates with states on the integrity fee, a proposed tax which is designed to help pay for policing the game from match-fixing and protect the integrity of the game.
The NBA is one of several leagues angling for this tax and it remains open to having its players’ union in on the conversation. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the NBPA negotiate a piece of the integrity fee pie for themselves should the leagues get their wishes with the tax, although that’s strictly my speculation.