NBA Deputy Commissioner: Integrity System Works

Legal gambling regulatory systems in the United States prevent more scandals like the one that ended with a lifetime ban for the Toronto Raptors’ Jontay Porter.

So believes deputy NBA commissioner Mark Tatum.

“The fact that we were able to look at certain irregularities in betting lines, and the data that we were able to receive from our partners allowed this to come into the light,” Tatum said in a conference call with international media before the NBA Finals, “… we’ve always been, again, an advocate for a federal regulatory framework here. … I think it creates transparency that we didn’t [have] previously, which allows us to maintain the integrity of the sport, which is essential to all sports leagues.”

The Canadian Press reported that the NBA would prefer a federal framework, however.

Porter was found to have bet on NBA games, shared information with gamblers, and intentionally underperformed to swing prop bets in their favor in two games this season. But a legal U.S. sportsbook – called “Betting Company 1” in a federal indictment against one of Porter’s cohorts – identified and canceled an $80,000 bet on a Porter player prop parlay during one of his games and reported the irregularity to the NBA, triggering an investigation that led to Porter’s banishment in April.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Lauds Transparency, Process

Although a flurry of recent sports betting scandals engenders the perception that the advent of legal wagering in 40 U.S .jurisdictions has created a problem, Tatum said it’s actually created a solution. It also undeniably created a revenue stream and the NBA was arguably the most aggressive of the major U.S .pro leagues in integrating legal sports betting as mainstream entertainment. Tatum leaned in on the policing power.

“When the Supreme Court overturned [the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018] in the US,” he said, “that really left sort of two options: continue the illegal sports betting or it was two embrace the legalized sports betting system so that, quite frankly, we could identify the sort of behavior that was uncovered.”

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Lead Writer
Brant James is a lead writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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