- Adrian Wojnarowski is worried about the impact sports betting could have on the NBA
- The insider believes gambling could play a major role in an increase in unruly fans
- Read more basketball news here
It’s been close to four years since the Supreme Court struck down the law that required virtually anyone who wanted to bet on sports to take a trip to Las Vegas, deal with a bookie, or put their faith in a sketchy offshore operation, and it’s pretty wild just how much the landscape has changed over that relatively short span.
As things currently stand, the majority of states have given sportsbooks the green light to operate within their borders, and it’s been a very welcome change for fans who were previously only able to get emotionally invested in the action.
Every major league has also welcomed sports betting with open arms, as every member of North America’s Big Four has struck up some cozy relationships with operators and a number of teams have opened up outposts inside stadiums and arenas.
You don’t have to read the fine print on the gambling ads you’ve likely been bombarded with over the past couple of years to know the activity can have its fair share of downsides, and now, Adrian Wojnarowski has come forward to sound the alarm when it comes to its detrimental impact on the NBA.
During Monday’s edition of NBA Today, the panel was discussing Kyrie Iriving’s latest interaction with hostile fans when the insider turned his attention to the topic of sports betting and predicted we’ve only gotten a glimpse of what’s to come when it comes to incidents involving unruly spectators.
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Here’s what he had to say:
“As gambling becomes more prevalent in the arena; people gambling on almost everything that goes on with a game—and they’re drinking—players, organizations; when you talk to them, they already feel it in the arena.
When people are losing money in realtime and they’re pointing to a player on the court and say, ‘Hey, I bet on you to score more points in the second quarter than somebody else and I lost,’ you’re adding an element that we’re not talking as much about but is a real factor in this league.
I think you’re going to see more instances of fans being even more vitriolic toward players in this league, and it’s an issue they’re going to have to deal with.”
Based on what we’ve seen, it’s hard to argue with Woj’s take, but it’s also hard to imagine the league will be able to whip up an easy solution to solve the issue.