Ex Comish Stern “All In” For Legal Gambling Push
“Let’s go all the way.” Not something you sometimes expect a 70 something year old man with a new hip to say and raise eyebrows, but there it was, former NBA Commissioner David Stern’s bold statement live and on stage Thursday morning before a full house at the Liberty Theater in Times Square.
Stern, along with Monumental Sports founder Ted Leonsis were two of the key speakers as part of a content packed session hosed by New York Venture Capital Sports as part of Advertising Week, and the ex-Comish was in full speculation mode in his 45 minute discussion with media consultant Shelley Palmer. Stern, now working with on many digital startup projects with Greycroft Partners , has usually passed off opinion on the issue of sports gambling to his more vocal successor on the subject, Adam Silver, but on this morning the comish laid it all on the table.
The recent scrutiny being brought to the loophole of DFS and the growing league partnerships, he said, makes it clear that gambling on sports is becoming more and more of a certainty, and with that, he is now more bullish than ever on full Federal-regulated legalized gambling than at any point when he served as commissioner. With FanDuel aligned with the NBA and now the NFLPA able to offer likeness endorsements to players for DraftKings, the blurring of lines between sports leagues and at least daily pay fantasy is getting less clear, and the move to bring actual gambling vs. just pay fantasy, would be a win for all.
As has been clearly stated for several years the overturning of Federal law to move the process is being challenged but not successfully to date, and now with Rep. Frank Pallone from New Jersey calling for inquiries into the legality of DFS Washington is now more actively looking at the best, and most effective path to reining in the overall industry. Most officials feel that full legalization is still years away, but having the current, and now ex-NBA Commissioner both publicly on board certainly makes the conversation louder.