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Gambling Referees in the NBA


In the US, gambling is widespread. Now, for some certain people, should gambling be forbidden? Such as a referee? Because they have a powerful position in the modern game, should gambling referees be on the black-list? In a very hot debate, we have the following. Let’s take a look. 

In the NBA, gambling referees are not permitted. That is to say, referees may not place any sportsbook bet. Not one at all. They have no right to as they will be going against what is correct. And in their position, they should do so as well.

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NBA’s Gambling Referees Bounderies

This came into the spotlight when NBA commisioner David Stern ran into an interesting dilemma. The NBA eliminates the possibility for referees to place any sports related bet as they themselves are involved in sports. This is because if they bet on a match they are officiating, then they may lean more favourably for one side.

Now, this is not all black and white. The rules state that referees are also not allowed to buy lottery tickets or do innocuous gambling such as playing on a poker table. How does that effect the NBA though?

What Stern knows, is that more than half of the 56 officials have previously gambled. What he also knows, is that in the off-season referees are permitted to gamble on horse races.

Where does the drawing the line come between the two? How could gambling referees place bets on horses but not be aloud to play online casino slots. Surely both of them would not coincide with the NBA and sportbook betting.

The Hard life of a Ref

Unfortunately for them, referees are almost always the losers. Their quick decisions, in the heat of the moment, is always controversial and talked about the next day, week and sometimes year. This is what makes their job so difficult and why they can almost never be right, because of different opinions.

However, is the NBA’s refusal to let gambling referees play in any casino wrong? Perhaps they are tabooing these rights to prove a point to fans. If spectators would start to believe that officials are making biased calls down to sports betting, the whole industry could errupt.

On the other hand, it may be down to an old-fashioned stereotype. Gambling can lead to debt, which can lead to numerous methods to escape. If a referees becomes in-debt, he knows how a few controversial calls can bring him out.

Stern has witnessed the problems with the current NBA rules on gambling referees, but has turned his eye. Is this because at the moment it is not a big deal. Or could NBA be going down a dark and twisted path.

About the author

Simon is a University student majoring in the field of Communication. Since a young age, his two passions are writing and sports. Originally from England, the Premier League is an important part of his life.

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