To the happiness of non-supporters like Bickerstaff, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has made it an early goal to keep gamblers as safe as possible. It already instructed sportsbooks to use responsible gambling language and emphasize the importance of safe habits during promotions and events.
A lawyer representing the Cavaliers, Jason Hillman, also spoke to the team about the pitfalls of gambling before the season began in October.
For instance, players nor their immediate family members cannot place bets on NBA games. If they are found guilty of even a single offense, they could face massive repercussions.
Last February, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was found guilty of gambling on three games that occurred while he was away from the team in November 2021. He spent a total of $1,500 and never bet against his team
The result? A one-year suspension from the league and all team activities. He became the fifth player to be suspended from the NFL for gambling offenses, adding to a legacy last marked by Josh Shaw in 2019.
The NBA and NFL have handled various situations differently, but it is safe to assume that the league would institute penalties of a similar magnitude—especially with the widespread influence of online betting sites.
All 30 NBA teams are already receiving funds from Caesars through its partnership with the NBA.
“We are in the business of making money, and it’s going to put a bump in the finances for everybody, which is what you hope,” said Bickerstaff. “I genuinely believe we are part of the best league in the country of the four major sports. They’re not going to do anything to compromise the integrity of this league.”