Bettman: Legal betting may change sports culture

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver made headlines this week after stating in an op-ed article he wrote for The New York Times that he’s in favour of legalized sports gambling.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says not so fast.

“I think some attention needs to be paid to what sport is going to represent to young people,” Bettman told CNN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview Friday. “Should it be viewed in the competitive, team-oriented sense that it is now? Or, does it become a vehicle for betting, which may in effect change the atmosphere in the stadiums and the arenas?”

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Many professional sports leagues have opposed legalized gambling, arguing it could create incentives for teams or players to fix games. Bettman argues that legalized gambling could take away from the experience of attending sporting events.

“Do you want people at football and basketball games rooting for the spread, or rooting for their favourite team?”

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