NBA deputy commish proposes federal betting framework

NBA proposes federal regulatory betting framework
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In the wake of the lifetime ban issued to Jontay Porter and the ongoing fallout from that case, the NBA wants the U.S. federal government to buck up its ideas when it comes to regulating gambling.

NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum told reporters in a video conference on Wednesday that the league wants a strong federal regulatory framework for legalized gambling.

Tatum noted that it was the integrity efforts of the league and its partners that led to the suspicious activity around Porter prop bets being detected and charges being laid. But while legalized gambling is currently regulated on a state-by-state basis, Tatum says stronger federal measures may be needed.

“We’ve always been, again, an advocate for a federal regulatory framework here,” Tatum said on Wednesday, as reported by the Canadian Press. “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.

“When the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in the U.S., that really left sort of two options: continue the illegal sports betting or it was to embrace a legalized sports betting system so that, quite frankly, we could identify the sort of behavior that this uncovered.”

Sports betting is legal in some form in 37 U.S. states as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico. Each territory has the right to regulate its own gambling industry, resulting in a medley of gambling laws.

Tatum believes tying things together across the country under a strict federal framework would help safeguard an ever-evolving and ever-expanding industry that is already worth billions of dollars a year.

Man arrested, charges filed in Porter case

Tatum’s comments came in the same week that police arrested a man in connection with the Porter betting scandal and other alleged conspirators were named.

The NBA banned Toronto Raptors rotation player Porter for life in April after an investigation found he had revealed confidential information to bettors, bet on games illegally under NBA rules and altered his own performances in two games to ensure bets cashed in.

Long Phi “Bruce” Pham, one of a number of people accused in the scheme, was arrested at New York’s JFK airport on Monday while trying to flee to Australia. He faces charges of conspiring to defraud a sports betting company and faces a potential maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

Two other men, Timothy McCormack and Mahmud Mollah, who allegedly co-conspired with Pham were named in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the East District of New York.