NBA's Stern: New Jersey 'is seeking to vicitimize us'

More fear mongering - backed by little evidence - came from the big pro sports leagues in New Jersey's fight to legalize sports betting in the state, this time from NBA Commissioner David Stern.

“It’s a policy problem, whether the great state of New Jersey should engage in actions which are certain to put more compulsive gamblers into play and cause people to bet their grocery money on gambling,” Stern said, according to this report by John Brennan, who has done a fine job of covering the New Jersey case closely.

But just like the Bill C-290 single-event wagering debate in Canada, when league representatives were pressed to show hard evidence that backs their claims, they failed to present any. Instead? Rhetoric and apparent shock that anyone dare question the notion that legalized sports betting would lead humanity to a darker place.

“'I would bet at least a nickel – if I were a betting man, which I’m not, that legalized gambling would indeed exacerbate the problem."

“So I am stunned by the underpinnings of your question – but, I know you have a job to do,” Stern said.

More comments from Stern:


He claimed New Jersey is blindly ignorant in its quest to legalize sports betting:


"The one thing I am certain of is that New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing, and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two."

On the NBA, a multi billion-dollar corporation, being a victim in this case:


“...because New Jersey needs to make a couple of bucks because everything we were afraid of when Atlantic City organized gambling for the first time has come to pass, that the state is seeking to victimize us.”

On the historical context when the league, along with other groups, opposed adding casinos to Atlantic City in the 70s:


“And of course, there was no benefit to the city of Atlantic City. Subsequent mayors – many of them were taken out in handcuffs – and there were, as I recall, increases in prostitution, absenteeism, loansharking, and alcoholism.”

And, much like the NFL did, Stern played dumb on claims that playing fantasy sports, which are endorsed by the leagues, have anything to do with gambling:

“I would doubt it – but I would say the connection is tenuous. The idea that in this pretend game, where I’ve selected a player, that that would affect your rooting interest in the game – I wouldn’t think that would be the case at all. I don’t think that fantasy has any impact on how they root for a team.”

Even if they have a financial interest in that fantasy team, he was asked?:

“I don’t know what their financial interest is, and neither do you, so we’re dealing with a hypothetical that I can’t get my head around,” Stern said.

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Posted by PokinSmot
2 years ago

NJ is a landfill dump, run by corrupted, greedy, inbreeds, of hooligans.
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Posted by THEMUGG
2 years ago

Stern is the longest running joke on the pro sports scene.........hard to believe anyone takes him serious.
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Posted by StLBluesHockey
2 years ago

Yeah...Sawwy David, but the reason you don't want gambling to get legalized b/c you're afraid of integrity. You set up matches in NBA Finals to gain ratings by having officials dictate outcomes with the flow of calls to change the flow of the games. You're afraid to have a clean sport. It's ridiculous to hear him think "I don’t think that fantasy has any impact on how they root for a team.” ...OK STERN! STOP IT!
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Posted by El_Handicapper
2 years ago

All Pro Sports games should be preceeded with the Letterman Stupid Pet Tricks Disclosure "THIS IS AN EXHIBITION NOT A COMPETITION, PLEASE NO WAGERING" The Commissioners and Team Owners with help from the referees decide who goes to the Playoffs and Championship Games. They must have a Good SHOW to get TV Ratings and top dollar for Their SHOW
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Posted by 666LES
2 years ago

Stern- He's a company man,an owner's mouthpiece, a talking head for the monied interests of NBA. David's pissed that he can't fine Gov Christi like he fined GregPopovich when he did something David didn't like even though it wasn't illegal or prohibited. I'll repeat F%$@# Y&*
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Posted by hoopsnyc
2 years ago

i'll take my chances tonight picking the winner of the knicks-nets game(@pk)then buying a lottery ticket or betting a trifecta.
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Posted by hoopsnyc
2 years ago

KJK ,you are so right.stern is a crooked politician just like the rest of them,gop and dems alike. many poor people spend a large percentage of their income on lotteries and at the track betting trifectas(which the govt takes 30% right off the top)with the "chance "to hit it rich.the odds are astronomical against them but the government has no problem taking that money.sports betting would give people a shot of winning and making money.sure there would be losers but thats why its called gambling.
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Posted by kengoone
2 years ago

What a fuc@!ng annoying problematic thorn in Americas side that inept lame duck commissioner has and continues to be. He has the same responses that devout religious groups had for prohibition of alcohol! The NBA must really think it's fan base is that naive, idiotic, and influenced by NJ getting sports betting. He must realize that without legitimate groups watching the movement of the wagering line PROTECTS the very same security and legitimacy of his sport! When he was asked at a press conference in Las Vegas, a year prior to Tim Donaghy being thrown in prison for being the "rouge" official who fixed games, if he thought there was game fixing in the NBA , he was "appalled at even being asked the question" and dismissed it into laughable impossibility of his certain future. He's so undesirable as the NBA commissioner, so disassociated with the average NBA fan, and completely opposed to the understanding of the positive effects of NJ sports betting on single games, that his position now hurts the league more than it helps. Its ridiculous to think that he is unaware of all the gambling already being done on NBA games from unlicensed entities. From a personal standpoint Stern is so smug, condescending, and belittling that when I see him speak it's like watching the a redundant robot programed by a communist dictatorship government. His time has long passed.
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Posted by jgreene
2 years ago

Heres sterns comments and what makes his all arguement a moot point..“'I would bet at least a nickel – if I were a betting man, which I’m not, that legalized gambling would indeed exacerbate the problem." He just said that he would not bet becuase he is not a gambler..so people who dont bet to start off with wont bet because its legal. Same point for legalizing marijuana..if u dont smoke now..u wont smoke if its legal. Dumb politics
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Posted by tomnolan
2 years ago

go away stern. legalize sports bettting in every state. people play the lottery in every state. dont see them going to "loansharks" to pay off their lottery loses. he is a moron with old old values!!
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Posted by Fazool
2 years ago

F**k Stern and F**k the NBA!
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Posted by ce_manager
2 years ago

Stern is a clown which is why they are retiring him - he wants an NBA Team in Vegas - but yet NJ is so bad for them - the fact he cannot recite a specific example in any of his answers - like the rest of the politicians - is the key.
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Posted by woodsy5822
2 years ago

what a smug AHOLE
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Top Response

Posted by ce_manager
2 years ago

"Stern is a clown which is why they are retiring him - he wants an NBA Team in Vegas - but yet NJ is so bad for them - the fact he cannot recite a specific example in any of his answers - like the rest of the politicians - is the key."