How has NBA's relationship with gambling affected results on and off the court?
Some of America's most popular sports leagues are the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL.
01:27 23 November 2023
Some of America's most popular sports leagues are the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL. Once online betting became mainstream, it started attracting more people who enjoyed these sports. Now, most of the betting gets done within these sports leagues. But just because something has become popular with some people does not mean it has become popular with all people. The NBA gets a lot of attention when it comes to betting, and for good reason: it's one of the four major leagues with some of the most noteworthy players. Fans find it entertaining to bet on their favorite team and watch anxiously through four quarters to see if they will win or lose some money. But again, just like anything, just because something is popular with some people does not make it popular with all, so the decision to really partner and push the best NBA betting sites continues to be divisive.
Below, we will look deeper into the NBA betting industry, its growth, and any scandals or controversies occurring within the league.
The current status of NBA betting
Like anything, it started slow once the online betting world entered the NBA. People were unfamiliar with the option and were somewhat skeptical once it arrived. But as the public began to accept the concept of online betting, it began to catch on. The NBA was already a popular sport with many people and garnered lots of attention, especially during playoff times. Before online betting, in-person betting was already prominent in the NBA. However, once the online industry got past its initial hurdle of being new, it began to expand and expand in America and into other markets.
The NBA has been looking to expand its reach across the globe. With that expansion comes more people becoming aware of the NBA, more people finding the game enjoyable and looking to bet on their favorite team, so the betting industry has been expanding. More and more sites are coming online, and more people are finding their way into betting on the NBA.
Controversies with online betting and the NBA
One of the more noteworthy controversies to hit the NBA and the betting industry was in 2007; it came to light that an NBA referee had used his inside connection to bet games. With the help of an FBI investigation, it came to light that he had made bets on games he officiated during the 2005 - 2006 season and the 2006- 2007 season. The referee, Tim Donaghy, would later admit he bet on games in four NBA seasons. Due to the investigation, he was later found guilty and sentenced to 15 months in prison.
This scandal immediately affected the perception of the NBA and the betting industry. People now found it hard to trust the NBA and referees as Donaughy also spoke on other NBA referees doing things to stretch out games and playoff series and just do things that helped the NBA as a whole, but of course, this meant doing things against the referee's official rules. This incident dented people's viewpoint of the game's fairness.
This lack of fairness also affected the betting industry because, again, people lost trust that they lost a game because one team was better than the team they bet on. Instead, how would they know it wasn't an official who guided the game in the direction that best suited them or the NBA? These thoughts lead to a lack of trust in betting on games, which is unsuitable for an industry that needs people willing to bet on games to make money.
The other thing is it also exploded the belief that betting corrupts people. Many people believe that the betting industry has a way of corrupting people to do things they would not typically do and leading them to take action, all in the name of making more money.
So, this episode led to a stain on the NBA and the betting industry.
While there was a stain on both industries, perceptions have slowly changed. The popularity of the NBA has been growing, and with this scandal coming to light in 2007, enough time has passed. Public changes have taken place in how officials officiate and conduct themselves to help instill more confidence they are performing their jobs according to the rules in front of them.
The betting industry will always carry a level of controversy by the very nature of the industry. It has been recovering in the NBA just as the NBA itself goes through rejuvenation. As long as people trust the way the game gets played and perceive every foul and outcome of a game to be fair, they will have more confidence in placing bets, which has been taking place. People's trust in the system is coming back, and while there may still be some people who believe the NBA and betting should not be associated, there are others who see the benefits. The industry is growing; more sites are coming online, and more people are finding their way into the market. Meaning the future is bright for the NBA betting industry.