The NBA is not yet ready to allow its teams to sell jersey patch advertisements to betting companies – unlike the NHL.
A week ago, the Washington Capitals announced that they will be wearing Caesars Sportsbook patches on two versions of their uniforms from the 2022-23 season. But in stark contrast, European football leagues have laws pending to remove gambling advertisements from uniforms and to “protect children and prevent harm” based on reports of “gambling problems”. this situation.
“We have limitations because we see what happens internationally,” said Scott Kaufman-Ross, senior VP of Fantasy and Gaming for the NBA, during the Sports Capital Symposium on Wednesday. “Italy and Spain are markets where advertising for sports betting is completely banned. The UK has a whistle-to-whistle ban. We have seen reports: It turns out that they have to take the stamps off the shirts.
“For us we’re just watching all that stuff and we’re careful … We thought it wasn’t time to open it up with that in mind. Some leagues are more revealing in some things and less so in others. So we don’t judge anyone for what they’re trying to do. We didn’t feel like the time was right for the NBA and we’ll see how it goes on. ”
The NHL has just completed an investigation into San Jose Sharks striker Evander Kane, who was accused by his estranged wife Anna of betting on league games. The league announced that there is no evidence that Kane played or scheduled games. But the case revealed the potential impact of overt gaming advertisements.
The NBA has allowed teams like the Wizards and Suns to have sports betting in their arenas and has other gaming relationships. While the league has no plans to expand right now, Las Vegas would likely be considered for a team, and Kaufman-Ross reiterated that the NBA never had a dislike or fear of Las Vegas – even if they played their all-star game there in 2007, with the late Kobe Bryant, who won the MVP.
“If you do [gambling] illegal, people will just find a way to do it illegally, ”Kaufman-Ross said at the Sports Capital Symposium. “And that’s why we’ve changed our position. Look, we still believe that sports betting is a fundamental integrity risk to our games. That remains true. But what we found out is that the federal ban is only there to drive this activity underground. It doesn’t eliminate that activity … it just moves it to a place where we can’t monitor it and there are no transparencies.
“So we can better protect the integrity of our competitions if there is a legally regulated, transparent monitoring … Yes, we still have the signs in our” [player] Changing rooms: no gambling. Nothing has changed. The only thing that has changed here is that we have realized that it is better if it is done openly where we have the tools to protect ourselves rather than doing it through offshore websites and bookmakers. ”