• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds

NBA Players Are Worried About Betting. The League Is Making It Easier Than Ever

  • Odds will be limited to over/under, money lines, and point spreads at first.
  • The NBA is believed to be the first U.S. pro sports league to bring this into its in-house apps.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Last week the NBA fined Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert $100,000 for making the universal “money sign” at a referee, implying that the official who whistled him for a foul was corrupted by sports gambling. 

On Tuesday, the NBA announced it will be slightly easier for fans to place live bets on games. 

League Pass will now have the option for fans to wager on games in real time, the league said in a statement it issued with Sportradar, a global data company. Together, they are rolling out a new function in the app that allows viewers to track betting odds in-game and bet on them through the NBA’s sports gambling partners. The option is currently available only on mobile, but The Athletic reported there are designs to bring it to other devices as an opt-in function. 

At a time when players are airing their frustrations on how the rise of sports gambling has impacted the NBA, the league is enabling more of it.

Options will be limited to point spreads, money lines, and over/under for now. Viewers will then pick their bet and be taken to a sportsbook from FanDuel or DraftKings. The ability to see the bets will be available in every state, but viewers can bet in states only where mobile sports gambling is legal, according to The Athletic

Scott Kaufman-Ross, the NBA’s executive vice president of media and gaming, told The Athletic he believes this is the first in-app betting option from a U.S. pro sports league. 

The league is embracing gambling more tightly than ever, at the precise moment when players—with no evidence yet—are raising the alarm about it affecting the game.

“I think it’s hurting our game,” Gobert said the night of his ejection. “I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

Gobert isn’t the only noteworthy player to weigh in on the effects of gambling. It’s impacted fan interactions as who wins and loses has taken a backseat to fan parlays. Suns forward Kevin Durant, who is never shy when it comes to his opinions with fans, tweeted in November, “When I get ya paid, u don’t DM me and send a small percentage to my CashApp but when them parlays don’t hit, I’m every name in the book. Y’all ain’t real.”

Kings forward Malik Monk and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson have also tweeted their distaste for fans complaining about their parlays in recent months. Longtime Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently sold a majority stake in the team to the Adelson family, who operate Sands Casinos and want to bring sports gambling to Texas. 

Kaufman-Ross didn’t rule out the possible addition of more betting options coming to League Pass, which could be microbets such as player or team-specific bets. Microbetting has a small share of the U.S. betting market but accounts for a larger share in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. In the joint release, Patrick Mostboeck, Sportradar senior vice president of audiovisual, said the new League Pass features make “in-play betting more engaging and immersive.” 

The ref who called Gobert for a sixth foul almost certainly wasn’t rigging the game, and Gobert was contrite after his ejection, calling his gesture “immature.” But the more gambling becomes intertwined with the league, the more Gobert’s concerns could seem warranted.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Caitlin Clark Drives Massive WNBA Draft Audience for ESPN

Clark’s coronation was the most-watched WNBA telecast in decades.

Mythical Knicks Pitch to LeBron James With ‘Sopranos,’ Trump, Weinstein Leaks 14 Years Later

Video shows Tony and Carmela Soprano recruiting LeBron James to the Knicks.

For Caitlin Clark and Other Rookies: Now a 29-Day Sprint to WNBA Debut

The league regular season starts swiftly after college basketball ends.

WNBA Draft Fashion Has Come a Long Way From ‘Most Athletic Accountants’ Era

The WNBA draft used to have a strict dress code, a former top pick tells FOS.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
NBA
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

Jontay Porter Bet ‘Millions’ on FanDuel Account: Report

The Raptors forward is currently under league investigation.
April 11, 2024

Following a Long List of Blows, MLB Walks for a Change

Officials say the Dodgers’ superstar is ‘considered a victim in this case.’
April 12, 2024

A Decade-Long Timeline of the Shohei Ohtani–Ippei Mizuhara Saga

Ohtani’s former interpreter has been federally charged with bank fraud.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 11, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Stole $16 Million to Cover Gambling Losses, Feds Say

Authorities detailed how Ippei Mizuhara hid bank transfers from Ohtani.
April 10, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Pleading Guilty to New Charges, per Report

Ippei Mizuhara is said to have lost over $4.5M of Ohtani’s money.
April 2, 2024

Sportsbooks Say Iowa-LSU Smashed Records

It’s the new all-time most-wagered women’s sports competition on FanDuel.
March 27, 2024

NCAA Wants to End Prop Betting on College Sports. Will It Succeed?

The announcement comes just days after the NBA began investigating a prop scandal.