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Sports Leagues And Gambling Mix Again With Florida Lottery Tickets

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Sports leagues love to stand behind the premise that they are against gambling. Their actions, however, often overshadow their words, with many leagues moving closer than ever to gambling acceptance.

Commissioner David Stern has at least been open in the past couple of years regarding the future of betting on his sport. This week, the NBA again will show how they are forming partnerships with major gambling operations.

The Florida Lottery will unveil new scratch-off tickets on Thursday with sports team logos. The Miami Heat and Orlando Magic will both have their own branded scratch-off tickets, appealing to the gamblers that are also sports fans. The move is not unprecedented in sports.

A couple of years ago, NFL owners approved allowing teams to brand themselves on lottery tickets. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants are among the teams that have placed their name on the gambling tickets. The NHL allows gambling advertisements in their arenas, with the Seminole Indians promoting their casinos at the home of the Florida Panthers.

Commissioner Stern said last year that he believes betting on NBA games will be accepted in the future. Stern did not say the partnership with sports books is imminent, but he did acknowledge the possibility of such a partnership.

The NFL has long declared betting on their sport as a taboo subject, claiming ignorance with the idea that it is the gambling that drives the sports popularity. NFL betting is a billion dollar industry worldwide.

The one sport that has seemingly embraced gambling is soccer. Gaming businesses have been known to sponsor some of the top soccer clubs in the world, although a crackdown of athletes betting on their own teams' games has taken place in recent years.

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