Adam Silver again makes Roger Goodell look foolish when it comes to sports betting


NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he can't speak for the other leagues when it comes to their stances on sports betting, but what he has done before and did again Tuesday is take the same phrase Roger Goodell uses to argue against legalized sports betting to reiterate his thi

nking on why it should be legal.

Goodell says sports betting in the United States threatens the "integrity of the game," meaning there's a higher likelihood of a game being fixed or it not being on a level playing field. This logic is rooted in fallacy, given that it's much easier to detect illegal activity if everything is above board and that there's so much money being wagered in the United States — $95 billion estimated in 2015 — even with it still outlawed nearly everywhere outside Nevada.

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Silver says the way to protect the integrity of the game is to legalize sports betting — bring it out from the underground to better detect any foul play. The betting is happening anyway, he says, legal or not.

"I realized that there’s this enormous, measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars, underground betting market in the United States," Silver said Tuesday on ESPN's "SportsCenter,"  "and ultimately it’s my job as commissioner to protect the integrity of the game. And like the stock market with insider trading, if you don’t have an open exchange, you can’t know what insider trading is going on.

"And to me, when there’s an enormous amount of betting that’s all underground, we have no idea what’s going on, no transparency to the league, we have no sense of what’s happening — now, don't get me wrong, we have lots of ways to monitor it out there — but if all that is going on anyway, it should be legal, it should be regulated, transparent to the league."

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Makes sense, right?

The NFL (and NBA, too) has found a way to profit from daily fantasy sports, which is why Goodell and the Shield have no opposition to it. There's no clear way to do that with sports betting if it becomes legal, which is  why some argue Goodell remains so staunchly opposed.

You can watch Silver's full interview here, in which he also acknowledges the engagement and interest sports betting creates. Goodell still won't even admit that.