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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed a report on Monday at the Associated Press Sports Editors Commissioners Conference pertaining to the league potentially limiting prop bets on online sports betting sites.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says there’s more at stake for a superstar player than two-way player for prop bets

Although Silver expressed his concerns, he noted that the league can only do so much to control and influence a growing NBA sports betting market.

“We only have so much control,” Silver said. “For example, the NCAA has made the point about the risk to college players. There’s a large pool of players in college whose careers will end after they participate in college athletics, so there’s not as much at stake. There’s clearly a lot more at stake for a superstar player than there is for a two-way player.”

Silver’s comments came roughly three weeks after the NBA issued ex-Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter a lifetime ban for violating multiple league gambling policies.

The league’s investigation revealed that Porter had disclosed confidential information to bettors, limited his participation in at least one game while he was with Toronto, and bet on NBA games while playing in the G League.

Porter reportedly placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using an associate’s online betting account. The wagers ranged from $15 to $22,000, totaling $54,094, according to the league’s report. 

He waged $54,094 worth of bets from January 2024 to March 2024 while traveling with the Raptors or the team’s G League affiliate.

The NBA said the total payout from those bets was $76,059, with net winnings of $21,965. It should be noted that none of the aforementioned bets involved any games in which Porter played. 

Silver believes prop bets in the sport of basketball can lead to greater problems than other types of bets

“Certainly, prop bets, depending on how precise they are, lend themselves to more shenanigans than other kinds of bets,” Silver added. “Now, some of that can be captured through various monitoring, but we also recognize that a large amount of the handle — I’m not sure the precise percentage — but my hunch is there’s still far more illegal [betting] than legal.

“There are limits to our control, but we think there should be a regulated framework, where it’s the leagues working together with the state oversight groups and the betting companies, whether or not we have partnerships with them.”

The NBA announced its official sports betting partnerships with DraftKings and FanDuel in November 2021. The league said it would collaborate with said sportsbooks to promote responsible gambling and enforce strict standards and limitations on betting-related advertising.

These partnerships give the league “a lot more say,” according to Silver, which could lead to limits on prop bets in the future. 

“In some cases, we have partnerships with, just take DraftKings and FanDuel, where we don’t have absolute control, but when we have a marketing partnership with those companies we have a lot more say than with companies where we have no partnership whatsoever,” Silver said. “Then we’re relying on them doing a broader-based concern about integrity in the industry and them not running afoul of the regulators.”