-- HOUSTON -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban strongly agreed with NBA commissioner Adam Silver's opinion that sports betting should be legalized throughout the United States, predicting it would happen within three to five years.
In an op-ed piece in the New York Times earlier this month, Silver lobbied for the federal government to allow states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards.
"I agree 100 percent," Cuban said Saturday night before the Mavericks lost 95-92 to the Houston Rockets. "I think we're the world's biggest hypocrites when we say, 'Oh, we don't want you betting on our games,' and then we get all excited about the sports betting line and people go to Vegas on trips won from the NBA or NFL. I mean, it's hugely hypocritical.
"I just think that Adam did the exact right thing. I think by focusing on the federal regulations and making the changes there, that it will change. It's just a question of when.
"I think over the next three to five years, it will change. And it'll be interesting to see how the NFL reacts as well, because they've still so far said that they're adamant against it because I guess they have data that says the NFL doesn't benefit from gambling."
Sports betting is currently illegal in most of the United States outside of Nevada. Silver wrote that England's sports betting laws could be an example for the American government.
Cuban said he envisions the NBA and other pro sports leagues entering into successful business partnerships with casinos around the country once sports betting is legalized.
"We'll charge the casinos for information sources, video sources," Cuban said. "All you've got to do is look overseas. You can go and legally bet on the NBA in the U.K. and a bunch of other countries, and they're actually big customers of NBA video. ... So you've got a template already that's legal in the rest of the world other than America."
With a smirk, Cuban added: "It's crazy that we allow it in the rest of the world but it's really upsetting that sports leagues don't think Americans are good enough to gamble on our sports, but the rest of the world is. That's un-American."