NBA Commissioner Adam Silver claims that there is $400 billion wagered illegally on sports in the US each year. He wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times where he makes the case for legalizing sports betting. His main point is that sports betting is here to stay and it’s mostly done using bookies or overseas websites. Why not legalize it, regulate it and tax it?
Where did Silver get the $400 million dollar figure for illegal wagers? According to an article in Slate Magazine, he either pulled it out of thin air, or he was relying on one of two past claims by others, which were likely pulled out of thin air. The article makes an interesting read. Nobody is claiming that it really matters. Silver’s reasoning for supporting the legalization of Sports Betting makes great sense, regardless if the true amount of illegal sports wagering is $1 billion, $10 billion or even $400 billion.