The NBA is already planning its response to the potential nationwide legalization and regulation of sports betting in the United States. Commissioner Adam Silver says one part of that plan is making sure the league gets its cut - as compensation for the "additional costs" of dealing with sports gambling.
The state of New Jersey's challenge to the constitutionality of a 1992 federal act prohibiting sports gambling (except in Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana) eventually reached the Supreme Court, and a ruling is expected by late June after nearly a decade of testimonies and appeals.
"What we're hearing is that it's highly likely - the experts are saying it's highly likely the federal statute will be overturned, which means it's then up to the states" on whether to allow sports betting, Silver told ESPN's "Get Up!" on Friday morning.
With the possibility of funneling hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal betting into state-sanctioned sports books, Silver foresees an increase in the cost of doing business for the NBA.
"We've joined the fray (...) and we have a position," Silver said. "We think we should be compensated in certain ways for the additional costs we're going to incur through various integrity measures."
NBA spokesman Mike Bass mentioned some of these measures in January, telling Forbes' Darren Heitner: "We will need to invest more in compliance and enforcement, and believe it is reasonable for (sportsbook) operators to pay each league 1 percent of the total amount bet on its games to help compensate for the risk and expense created and the commercial value our product provides them."
Silver said Friday, "Our league - just the NBA alone - will spend $7.5 billion this year creating this content. So our feeling (is), as the intellectual property creators, we should be compensated as well."
Beyond the bottom line, Silver noted there are also plenty of social factors to consider.
"There are also issues on the downside," he said. "I'm trying to be more realist here rather than say, 'I think it's great for people to bet on sports.' I know it will lead to additional engagement, but there are problem gamblers too and those are all things we need to address."